Life on Mars

Life on Mars – an art show? The announcements are hot and heavy these days about the fact that “Life on Mars” is soon to open next door. In any other year, the announcements would be for the Carnegie International; this is the first time since 1896 that the Carnegie Museum of Art’s (CMA) international exhibition has been given a unique title.

So OK, another contemporary art exhibition that can provoke the “my-kid-could-do-that” thoughts, or can leave one wondering why in the world anyone would call this stuff art. On the other hand, think about going to the exhibition with your brain wide open ready to be shocked or startled – or occasionally soothed, believe it or not!

As a run up to the show itself, the exhibition’s website is a plunge right into the pool of increasing online inter-connectedness with the purpose of the website to get people talking before it opens. If this isn’t appealing, check out the history of the International both of its earliest years and, more pictorially, of its first 100 years albeit not online. The catalogs of the most recent exhibitions (1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1999/2000 and 2004/2005) all have insightful essays that unravel some of the mysteries one encounters in contemporary art. While the art collection is brimming with books about contemporary art and the search for meaning such as Art on the Edge and Over (Weintraub), there are other recent titles that focus on areas such as Bio Art, Destination Art, formlessness, convergences in art to name but a few. These are all fine if you are really eager to read more about contemporary art! If, however, you are not, and would rather explore the potential for a real life on Mars, check this out!

Kathie

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