Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lincoln in Jacksonville: Days 3/4: Part II: MOCA

Continued from Part I...

After leaving MOSH, I decided to make my way to the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (AKA MOCA Jacksonville), though my GPS insisted on calling it the Museum of Modern Art...curious. Admission was 1/2 off because one of the galleries was closed for installation. While there was not much art on view -- the area of the museum open to the public was perhaps 1/3 the size of CMA's new Contemporary Galleries -- all of the art caught my eye in one way or another.

While wandering through the gallery, I realized that I think Contemporary art has greater appeal to my eye because the works are so easily distinguishable from each other and generally make bold use of colors and materials.

Particularly interesting were Picasso's Imaginary Portraits series, and I loved the simplicity of Joseph Kosuth's Art Made With a Rubber Stamp and Signed by Joseph Kosuth -- literally, a framed brown piece of paper with a rubber stamped impression of the pieces title and a signature.

Programmaticly interesting were the installations White Hot Summer and Imagination Squared. White Hot Summer was "conceived, curated, and hung" by students of University of North Florida's Gallery Practices Class using selections from the museum's permanent collection.

On the other hand, Imagination Squared is an interesting project where wood boxes (904 to date) were distributed to artists (it seems, from the website, that this is 'anyone who wants to be an artist is an artist' rather than requiring qualifications) who painted/decorated/modified them and returned them. Currently displayed as a massive grid covering 3 walls its an installation that is an overwhelming mix of color and texture from afar, but compelling up close, really making you wonder about each individuals inspiration and motivation -- and a powerful statement about the size of the artistic community.

(Particularly given the close proximity that both CWRU and CIA share to the Cleveland Museum of Art, I would be interested to see if either of these concepts could fly closer to home and what the results would be).

After leaving MOCA, I took some time to wander around Downtown Jacksonville, right around lunchtime... and I think we have a strong contender for the most lifeless downtown in a major city I've visited (Cleveland looks like Manhattan by comparison); covering a 5 block radius from the museum I think I saw one restaurant and maybe a dozen people on the street. I will say that downtown was quite clean.

Having about a 1/2 tank of prepaid gas left in the rental I did what can best be described as random driving... took I95 down to St. Augustine, wandered around a little bit, then took A1A north along the Atlantic coast, back up to Jacksonville Beach, and then Atlantic Avenue back to the hotel. Without GPS assistance (well... the "Trip Log", which highlights roads you've driven on was on, and I did reference that but I didn't actually get directions from my GPS).

I fly back home tomorrow early afternoon... right now both of my flights are on time, but the pessimistic part of me is worried about what that hurricane might do to my schedule, particularly since I have a ghastly 45 minutes to connect in Newark (as I tweeted earlier this week "God, do I hate [that] airport."). I'm looking forward to my own bed. Actually, I'm looking forward to the hotel room bed, where I think this party animal is heading in 5..4...3...2...


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