Just couple of posts earlier when I told you that the Finnish summer is warm and lovely, it happened that the weather got a bit rainy and cold here – which means it's also a perfect time to take Aura to local art museum Sara Hildén. For this summer there is an interesting exhibition of Australian sculptor Ron Mueck, who is known for his hyper realistic sculptures and is guaranteed to stir up reaction in any viewer. As most of them are about everyday life and therefore relatively easy to approach I thought this might also be suitable exhibition also for the four year olds, and so I decided to take Aura there with me. As I wanted to see her reaction as pure as it could be and without any presumptions of 'art', I didn't reveal anything to her beforehand. I just said 'let's make a trip to art museum and see what's in there'.
Going into art museum with a kid means that one needs to proceed with her pace, and because of that I really didn't get a chance to read up on texts or focus on the tv-document that was there to watch. But from what I saw there, I found Mueck's sculptures to be some kind of post-modern versions of what people traditionally mean by statues. Whereas classic statues often illustrate historical characters, events and achievements, Mueck's hyper realistic sculptures are inspired by mundane stuff like woman with shopping bags, bored pensioners at beach - or a head of a sleeping man, which makes them almost like pop-art or something. There was also a giant 5 meters long newborn baby with a wrinkly face, umbilical cord and some blood over its body. This was definitely the one sculpture that evoke Aura's interest, and we spent long time investigating its details.
All in all, it was a delightful experience, thought I have to say I found Mueck's sculptures, while technically masterful, a bit thin on an intellectual level. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that art should be loaded with theoretical societal discussions or it should comment some aspect of our culture in a critical self-reflective way. But there's an adult inside me who kinds of expect something like that at the art museum, and while I was this very thing something interesting happened to that adult. Aura was investigating sculptures and while I got ready to take some pictures, she suddenly gave me this funny pose which looks almost like a parody of self-important adults in an art museum. To be honest, she's checking if the sculpture has any nasal hairs inside his nose – yes there is, as it should be with a hyper realistic sculpture. This sort of innocence somehow reminded me that we really don't need to take things of art so seriously – why not just enjoy how it feels, instead of reminding ourselves that 'art needs to serve some higher cause' or theorize it with something else. And even if that adult inside of me could come up with some clever counter arguments, this time I decided to go with a flow and to enjoy what there is. And somehow it was me and not Aura, who had to readjust of how I see things and think about them. Going to art museum with a kid sure is an eye opening experience.