Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02
One of the great things about working on a vibrant university campus like Penn is the never-ending flow of exhibits, performances and cultural events. Yes, despite being one of the world’s most renowned research institutions, Penn also holds its own when it comes to the arts. I say all of this not as an art aficionado – or even an art history minor – but as someone who most frequently enters into cultural experiences by accident. And THIS is why Penn is so great – for those of us who might not seek out these experiences on our own, there is always a new exhibit or performance to stumble upon here on campus.
For example, last week, I navigated to the Penn homepage only to find the following photo:
Needless to say, this visual image was enough to distract me from whatever work-related online destination I was heading toward. I needed to learn more about this photo, which I quickly discovered is part of an upcoming exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, entitled Blowing On A Hairy Shoulder: Grief Hunters. Grief – as in, my boyfriend just dumped me so why not go sit on the beach with an umbrella and wait for a thunderstorm? I told you – I’m no expert. According to the ICA’s website, this exhibition presents work by twenty artists from Israel, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Britain, and America that examines the relationships between originality and origin. Through video, photography, drawing, and sculpture these works take the challenges of “originality”—invention, innovation, novelty—to extremes, while making the term “origin” (genesis, precedent, historical debt, pre-historic territory) a subject.
This is all way over my head – but it’s intriguing enough to make me want to spend a lunch hour exploring the exhibit this fall. Plus, I’m dying to know what’s going on with this guy.