A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Adrian Piper: Everything Will Be Taken Away

December 26, 2018

Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016

Oct 7, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019 | Hammer Museum | https://hammer.ucla.edu

It was like when we go see a great movie and having what we take with ourselves walking out of the theater. It is that true essence of art, by which we have been touched. It is that after test, that certain lingering feeling which, for days, does not leave us alone and stays in the background of our minds.

When I left the Hammer Museum after viewing Adrian Piper’s exhibition, Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016, it was as though I was carrying the ghost of her art with me out of the door. In particular, what had really touched me was the piece “Everything Will Be Taken Away,” with images of the people with their faces disappearing into the background of the pictures. You could easily see that the artist was expertly playing with our imagination through her images and and through her message: “Everything will disappear in the end.” Looking at these words next to those pictures of disappearing people just drilled a hole in my heart and made me think and feel deeply. When art does that, I know it has already done its job the best way that it could. I know that the artist has been able to capture my soul as a viewer exactly the way she had intended.

As I came down the stairs of the Hammer Museum and into the book store, as always, in no time, I found myself drowned in the pages of all those mind-provoking art books on the shelves of the book store. Like a child in a candy store, I would pick up one book then put it down and go to the next one. However, the Adrian Piper books were especially all so amazingly impressive. There is such a wealth of talent, I sigh! I could just go on for hours turning the pages of her books and reading about her. I was just happy to buy one of her books and walk out of the museum and into my car.

As I am writing these words, The Book of Art by Adrian Piper is sitting pretty on my coffee table. Looking through its pages, looking at the pictures of her people with their disappearing faces in the background makes me realize this very fact – that while we are all stubbornly pretending that we are eternal, we are actually gradually disappearing into that mysterious background of our lives. Let’s face it – in the end, everything will be taken away.

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Posted in Art Reviews, Reviews |

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