Stephen Grothem-Visiting Artist
The work Found Voice, Solo Museum by Abinadi Meza is a very interesting take on the museum as a public space, and as a space that lives and breathes whether the public is there or not. As one enters the space, it is immediate as to how dark it is. The first thing I noticed was the sound, sort of an overwhelmingly creepy sort of noise. I was also drawn to the vitrines because I wanted to see what was in them. Imagine my surprise when there was nothing but sound. I love the idea of displaying sound in a traditional sense like a vitrine. The space it is in gives me the idea of it being trapped inside, and the vitrine being a metaphor for the walls of the museum. Hence the sound is trapped in the museum, echoes of the past. Once the initial darkness subsides, I was drawn to the large projection, or what I thought was one of the greatest horror films I have seen in a while. The suspense the piece builds is incredible, always keeping me on edge. i doubt very much that this was one of the intentions of Mr. Meza but I think it actually works for the piece. The suspense, if that is what you want to call it, reminds me of a trip to the museum in general, as you move from room to room not really knowing what each has in store for you.
What really impressed me about the piece was the wonderful sense of motion you got, something which is rare in a museum where is is usually so still. This motion adds to the identity of the museum as something that is breathing and alive. To me the whole projection seemed it was the museum at night haunted by its daytime patrons from the past, suggesting that the spirit of the visitor never really leaves the place due to their own experience. These unique personal experiences linger in the museum and stay there forever.
The one thing I wished about the piece was that it were a bit larger in scope. I think a large work could have shown off the sheer scope of the museum, something I always find interesting when at a gallery. The size can affect how personal the experience become and how much you find yourself lost in the museum. Overall, a truly fascinating work and one that I should like to explore further.