2 Exhibitions in 1 week!

So I've been very cultured this week, going to TWO different exhibitions at the NGV and Melbourne Museum. 

On Friday I went to Friday Nights at the NGV to see the Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei exhibition, which finishes up this month. The Friday Night late sessions run when there is a big exhibition on and include after hours entry to the NGV, live music and DJs, food and bars. 

I obviously knew of Andy Warhol and his Campbell's Soup paintings before going, but had no idea who Ai Weiwei is. (Disclaimer: I know close to zero about art). He is a Chinese artist and political activist, and is openly critical of the Chinese government, which pretty much means he is not very popular with them. Anyway, the exhibition was developed by the NGV in collaboration with Ai Weiwei and "explores the significant influence of these two exemplary artists on modern art and contemporary life, focusing on the parallels, intersections and points of difference between the two artists' practices" (from the NGV website). Some more info here:

Some info about the exhibition
So, I liked the exhibition, but I didn't LOVE it. Lots of people I know did love it thought. So I think my opinion might have more to do with the fact that the "Friday Nights" event is super busy and less to do with the exhibition itself. This is the second time I've gone to one of these (the first was to see the Monet exhibition back in 2013) and, this is probably a hugely unpopular opinion and will make me seem like a boring, unhipster mom, but I've decided I'm not a huge fan. Of the Friday Nights, not necessarily of the art. As I said above, I'm not very knowledgeable about art. So, I like to read the posters and signs explaining what everything is about. This is really hard to do when the exhibition is busy, and you have to jostle your way around people to get a peak at things, and it is really, really hard to read the signs without feeling like you are in everyone's way. So I enjoyed the exhibition but I just don't feel like I got the most out of it because it was so busy.

Interactive art... keep the balloons up in the air
Iconic Campbell's Soup Cans
Ai Weiwei Zodiac Heads
What I've actually realised is that I am old, and have a baby, and am no longer appreciative of cool events like this. If you are cooler than me, which would not be difficult, you'd probably love the Friday Nights at the NGV. Next time, I think I will just take Ella on one of my days off and wander around a much emptier exhibition in my own time. There won't be any funky music or glasses of champagne to purchase, but I'm ok with that. 

By far my favourite part of the exhibition was a photo booth area where you were prompted by this ridiculously cute cartoon cat (Ai Weiwei loves cats) to strike poses and you ended up with this Andy Warhol-esque collage:

I think all art galleries could do with more interactive elements. 

On the totally other end of the spectrum, Ella and I met up with Adam this week to check out the Jurassic World exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. I must admit, I was far more excited to see dinosaurs than I thought I would. They were pretty life-like and obviously gigantic. I was interested to see how Ella would react and she was super intrigued by them. Her eyes were glued to them the whole time and I would just have loved to know what she was thinking. At one point we went to the Tyrannosaurus Rex enclosure and it was pretty intense, with thunder and lightening and this huge, loud creature roaring and baring its sharp teeth. I think she might have been scared then, she started whimpering a bit, but otherwise she just seemed really interested in everything she was seeing. It's pretty fun to watch your baby discovering the world around her. 

Adam, Ella and I at Jurassic World
I did have fun at this exhibition but it was a bit short/small for what you pay for, $30 for adults. A pretty pricey activity to bring the family to. But it was a nice day out as I walked to the Museum and the weather was gorgeous, 28 degrees and sunny, not bad for autumn! On the way back Adam and I stopped for a beer and made sure we sent a picture to Charlotte and Andy of use enjoying our afternoon in the sun. Maybe that was a bit mean...


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