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Alina Cheng Artist Response

I went to the “Found Voice� exhibit in the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Abinadi Meza. He works mostly with sound and video, traveling all over the world to record sounds to show them to people. He likes to record sounds of people because he feels that sounds are easily gone and forgotten so he wants to show people what was there. He had majored in poetry but went into art for a living.
The artist basically recorded the museum sounds from three different days, and filmed what the museum was at night in the dark. The exhibit had three sound vitrines and two projections. The vitrines were basically display stands with plexiglass surrounding the display stands and nothing in them. If you put your ear up to it, you could hear the sounds the artist recorded from the museum. You could hear voices, pipe rumblings and vents. The vitrines’ displays had nothing in them because he wanted to draw us in, to get us close enough to hear faint sounds coming from it, and eventually press our ears against the glass. The projections, one large and one small, showed the museum in the dark, where the only thing you could see was what the flashlight was on. He wanted to recreate a room through sound, and he did. When we walked into the gallery, it really felt like we were in the museum late at night. Once you walked into the gallery, there was a creepy feel because it was dark, and you heard all these ghostly sounds. The artist wanted the movie to be like a dream, because the projection showed all this darkness with random pretty or historically significant objects popping up. The artist didn’t want this to be like a normal movie- there’s no beginning, middle and end, just like a dream would be.
When the artist talked about why he chose to do this, I thought his comment about how a museum is a paradox was very interesting. He said that a museum is a public place, but we each have our own memories, experiences, and feelings in it. So even though it’s a public space, we are individuals in the space. Even though we are in the same place, the feelings we have are all different. I had never thought about museums in this way, and his comments about this made me think about museums in a different light.
When I first walked into the gallery, I didn’t really know what he was trying to do, because my first impressions of the gallery was that it was a creepy dark place with ghostly sounds everywhere- and where was the art in that? But after Meza’s talk, I realized that he want to capture parts of the museum never seen or heard- so the sounds that are gone instantly after they are made, and the museum in the dark. Basically, he was trying to capture what the museum is like the day before, because the next morning, it is as if there was never anyone there- all quiet and empty.