One of the most challenging and thought provoking elements of art is not the art itself but the time and place it is being shown.
Kian Nowrouzi’s ’17 exhibit in the Wikoff Student Gallery displays life after revolution in Cuba and China. As I first walked around the exhibit on the third floor of the Nott Memorial couldn’t help but notice the bright red walls in which the black and white photos rested on.
As I looked more and more around the Nott Memorial, the parallels between the Nott and the photography seemed to become one.
The Nott Memorial held many different functions and many different purposes throughout its long history. The Nott Memorial now has transformed into a work of art, a beautiful place that holds treasures of art and discourse.
Yet we see China and Cuba struggling with poverty and what it means to have a functioning society. Maybe it is a reach to compare a building in a private college to whole socioeconomic systems of these two nations. However, the over arching theme of change seems to be prevalent, especially as you walk through the exhibit.
The gradients of change within the colors of the photos are definitely a focal point of the display. As I walked through the gallery I started to realize how much gray was actually in the color scheme. When I first picked this display to write about, I pictured strictly black and white, but as I walked it was not just two colors it was an array of shades and shadows.
This got me thinking, in all revolutions, in all change, it is not simply good or bad. As cliché as my thoughts prove, the bigger picture is that the art brought me to this place. Art has a way of bringing you out of your comfort zone and into a realm that stretches beyond what we currently understand.
Truthfully, we live in a world of media and propaganda, and with political issues like Cuba and China we tend to have ideas that are not originally ours. Yet when we remove ourselves and embrace the art before us, it’s easy to forget the terms that have plagued these nations, and see the people and places for what they are. My high school teacher used a simple but profound statement that I still remember – “Don’t forget to look at the art.” If you look at Nowrouzi’s art you slowly stop focusing on the socialist soil they are on, and instead focus on the people and culture depicted, You focus on the children just being kids, the adults trying to make a living like the rest of us, and the elderly enjoying their golden years.
I hope those who read this do not think I am telling them how they should see the art, rather I am telling why I think it is important to go see the exhibit based on the observation and questions it drew out of me. Art is important to nourish and enrich your mind, so if anything I said piqued your interest, then I highly encourage that you go check it out.