Andy Warhol exhibit: Other Voices, Other Rooms

Back in August, it seemed as if there would be oodles of time to revisit “Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms,” the exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Time, however, has a way of speeding by faster than I anticipated. After this Sunday, the fabulous exhibit of everything Warhol that has taken over the entire art museum at The Ohio State University in Columbus will be dismantled.

The exhibit is a retrospective of Warhol’s life and work– and like Warhol’s work, it is an eclectic assortment of art, graphics, newspaper articles, videos and an interactive performance space. Every inch of the museum’s galleries have been used to create a Warhol world of sorts.

The first time I saw the exhibit was at the opening in August. My first response was wondering when Warhol ever sat down or slept. Along with his famous prints of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s Soup and other cultural icons, there are many of the photographs he took, all the television episodes he created, and his interviews with people like John F. Kennedy Jr. and David Bowie. Each room offers a retrospective of certain aspects of Warhol’s creative interests, pursuits and perspectives. Woven throughout is his interaction with the world, himself and the arts. After he was shot and seriously wounded by Valerie Solanas, Warhol even turned that experience into art and commentary.

The room devoted to Warhol’s TV shows is one of my favorite sections of the exhibit, partly because of the effect of its execution. I noticed that while visitors sit on star-shaped stools watching whichever video screen captured their fancy, they became part of the exhibit in a way. Individual headphones allow for several people to sit at one time in front of their own individual screen while other people mill about taking in the entire scene of the room. This moving in and out between private and public experiences was one of the themes of Warhol’s life.

For anyone who has been influenced by popular culture and reality TV which, honestly, seems to be everyone I can think of, this exhibit is a look into Warhol’s vision of what was to become mainstream. Think of Joe the Plumber, Heather Mills McCartney, Harry Wittington, John Mark Karr, James Frey and who else? These are folks who represent Warhol’s phrase, “15 minutes of fame” referring to how celebrity status comes and goes quickly based on media attention. Although some people stick around longer than 15 minutes, the point is, the media helps create the celebrity. (The only person I could come up with off the top of my head was Joe the Plumber, so I found this article in Time magazine “15 people who had their 15 Minutes of Fame” to help me out. See? Fame is fleeting.)

If you do make it to the exhibit, take time to read about Warhol’s early life. You’ll find out how and why a person born in Pittsburgh to immigrants parents, one a coal miner, could grow up to be that eccentric, trendsetting fellow who wore wigs of platinum-blond hair.

To give people more time to see it, the Wexner Center has extended hours this coming weekend. Friday, February 13 (11 AM to midnight), Saturday, February 14 (10 AM to midnight), and Sunday, February 15 (10 AM to 8 PM). On Thursday from 4-8 pm, you can see the exhibit for free, otherwise there is a cost if you are over 12. Those 12 and under are free. Adults, $8; students, ages 13-17, and age 65 and older, $5.

Here’s a video tour of the exhibit, but the in person experience is this many times over. I’m planning on heading here again myself.

Ohio’s not too happy, but here’s a travel video [sort of ] with Buckeye spirit

First of all, if you were watching David Letterman last night, was it interrupted for a press conference about the results of last National Championship football game? Just checking.

You can bet that people are feeling down in the mouth in Ohio because of OSU’s loss to LSU yesterday. Still, a loss doesn’t get in the way of Buckeye pride. I didn’t quite get football culture until I moved here–actually, I still don’t –not exactly, but I’ve learned a bit about the attraction. There’s an identity of being a Buckeye that transcends race, class, gender and age. I’ve also learned to alter my driving pattern around game day. Heading down Ackerman, Hudson, Lane or Kenny Roads when the games are home is a way to creep along as people stream off of 315 or I-71 in search of parking. It’s nuts.

Today when I received a link to the OSU Alumni Magazine in my in-box, a video link caught my attention. Made as Ohio State University promotional material, it features people, some in different parts of the world, who have sent in pictures of themselves spelling out O-H-I-O with their hands and arms. You may have seen it yesterday if you watched the game. It’s also to be used as a commercial during basketball coverage.

I got a charge from watching the video from figuring out where the pictures were taken and if I’ve been to the places featured myself. I saw some shots that reminded me of Gadling posts. Look for the one that’s related to Aaron’s post of his trip to Ecuador. The shots featured in the video were culled from hundreds that have been sent in to the O-H-I-O Spot, an OSU pride kind of project. Here’s the link to the other pictures. You can still submit to the project. Here’s the page for that.

Parkour, The Art of Movement: Why Just Walk from Place to Place?

On a few occassions in my life, I have had bouts of walking around on top of buildings. The first time I was three. My mother couldn’t find me until she looked up. There I was on top of our apartment house. There was a ladder or something. When I was 12, I figured out how to get on top of the school where I attended 6th grade and had a blast figuring out how to get from one place to another. Once in high school, I climbed out a second floor window to the roof just for a bit of air. I didn’t know that I was ahead of the trend called parkour.

Started in France by David Belle 10 years ago, the aim of parkour is to use your body and movement to travel from point to point in creative and interesting ways as quickly as possible. The trend has even hit Columbus at Ohio State University and is sanctioned by the school (see article). Here’s a video of David Belle demonstrating his methods. There’s no way my son is seeing this though. I have a hard enough time keeping him on the ground. I think he must come by this naturally.