Last Friday, I got the enjoyable opportunity to visit MOVE, an interactive art exhibition where visitors can “discover art with their whole body”. The exhibition is being held at K20 GRABBEPLATZ (Kunstsammlung NRW) from 19 July to 25 September 2011. So many times, I’ve visited museums or exhibitions and come out wishing that the whole experience could be more hands-on. Scrutinising fine art is a worthy pastime, but – dare I say it? – it can get a little old after a while, even for hard-core art enthusiasts. If you’re thirsting for something different, I urge you to visit the MOVE exhibition that focuses on the relationship between fine arts, dance, movement and choreography since the early 1960s.
Whilst the raison-d’être of conventional exhibitions is for the visitor to view the art, this exhibition turns the visitor into the art and dancers encourage the visitor’s choreographical participation in sculptures and installations. The aim is for visitors to become more self-aware and sharpen their perception of gravity and balance. Each exhibit will keep you on your toes: from exhibits such as William Forsythe’s “The Fact of Matter”, a “forest” of gymnastic rings that challenge the visitor to swing from one side to the other (and believe me, it’s a lot harder than it looks, which probably explains the liability disclaimer!) to Mike Kelley’s shocking but fascinating “Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity And Manipulatory Responses”, starring a pissed off gorilla and some rather emotional individuals, to Robert Morris’ large wooden seesaw (or teeter-totter for you American readers) entitled “Bodyspacemotionthings”, or a pile of hula hoops with a cheerful background video reminiscent of childhood memories.
The exhibition also features a major work by famous action painter Jackson Pollock – Number 32, 1950. The painting’s production is documented by films shown in the exhibition’s interactive, digital archive, which is a compilation of more than 170 recordings demonstrating the history of art and dance. This is located in the Schmela Haus and can be visited without a ticket to the main exhibition.