- Yesterday was a museum day at the @hirshhorn.
The exhibit I saw was called Brand New: Art & Commodity in the 1980s. I took the Curator's Tour with curator-at-large @giannijetzer.
I wasn't always into museum tours because I like to move at my own pace. However, I had a change of heart after my guided tour of @louisvuitton
’s Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibit this past winter. Hearing the backstory of the works on view provides more context, which allows me to draw a more informed conclusion on how the art currently relates to society.
The 1980s is my favorite decade. Firstly, I was alive for seven years of it. Secondly, it was an experimental time in music, fashion, branding, and commerce. Hip-hop culture, and the rap music it spawned, were gaining legs, disco morphed into house music, Michael Jackson redefined pop music, street fashion made more of an impact than what you found in editorials, and leading bold, spendthrift lives was the name of the game for those who chose to play. The artists in this exhibit also experimented by taking 'a radical approach to making art - often striking out in ways quite opposed to the artists who commanded the greatest market interest at the time.'
Looking at the art in each room while listening to Gianni's lecture, I thought about how culturally we're in the same place today. There were works about feminism, social status, consumerism, mainstream media programming, immigration, and more. Jessica Diamond's "TV Telepathy" (swipe left) sums up the direction branding and commoditization took in the 1980s to now. All the aforementioned topics are popular today. However, people outside mainstream media can now promote their views and opinions to a global audience, thus making it seem as if all this is brand new information. Living through the era of Ronald Reagan, and now Donald Trump, I realize once again the more things change, the more they remain the same. #BrandNew80s