Over Hear and Here: A Centennial Reinvention is showing now in the gallery! Crank Sturgeon is the artist behind this 100 day exhibit.
Our gallery space here at Boston Children’s Museum is a unique art exhibition space in many ways: the audience (children and adults!); the sheer number of visitors (600,000 each year!); the hands on element; the location of the space itself (in the middle of everything with no distinguishing signs or features); and it is one of only a handful of exhibit spaces in the museum that changes regularly…just to name a few! I should also add a few things that make our gallery space unique to gallery spaces in other museums: the height of the visitors (average 3-4 feet); things get broken – things you think could never be broken; the audience is not specifically at the Museum to see the art exhibit; and the need for interaction and its role in the exhibit. Much like other exhibit spaces we think a lot about the flow of the audience in the space, the intuitiveness of interacting with the art, signage, lighting, and accessibility in terms of the concept of the work.
Over Hear and Hear is inspired by many things: time (specifically about the last 100 years), birthdays, technologies and communication devices that have been important over the last 100 years (and now are not so important), little viewers, the artistic process, revealing cool things to kids (little and big), play and art and the question of what art is. Yeah, all that.
The exhibit has been growing and changing from day one. The major elements are: a pneumatic tube connecting the Art Studio and the Gallery (=connecting the making process to the exhibiting space); a video revealing the process of making and creating everything in the show (=the process is important, sometimes more important than the end product); a tube wall where visitors can look into the tubes and see and hear different things (=mystery, intrigue, curiosity); and a process wall where visitors’ art work has been added since the opening (=visitors get to be a part of the exhibit and a part of the museum!).
Crank, the artist behind Over Hear and Hear, has been coming in and working with visitors each month to create elements that are added to the installation. He updates the video and sound pieces each time he is here.
Much like the Museum as a whole this exhibit is a living changing thing. There are many different ways that visitors can be a part of the show and interact with it. And true to form, I have been witness to every sort of interaction – from very rough, fast interactions where visitors try to climb the tube wall; to very thoughtful interactions where families move slowly around the space taking in every element, and then everything in between.
I do believe that each person leaves the space not totally knowing what the show is about, but are curious about something they saw. I have had many visitors come in to the studio and ask about the pneumatic tube, wanting to draw a flying machine or a birthday cake to add to the show.
This show is not conventional, it is contemporary art created by an experimental conceptualist.
Please come check out the show. Crank will be here September 15-17 and then back for a big culminating event on October 6th – day 100 of the exhibit.