Our tour of Limerick included several museum visits. One of these was the Hunt Museum, which contains the Hunt family’s private collection of art. Gertrude and John Hunt (who weirdly named their children Gertrude and John, as well) amassed an eclectic mix of artifacts that include rarities such as 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for the betrayal of Christ, Greek and Roman artifacts, modern abstract paintings, and heirloom tapestries. But what makes this museum such a treat is that you actually have to hunt for these treasures. You have to peek inside drawers, and open cabinets. Inside, you might be surprised to find a Renoir, or a Picasso that would be featured prominently on a wall at any other museum. At the Hunt Museum, it’s almost all about the “hunt.”
We also made a trip to the Limerick City Gallery of Art. The exhibit on display commemorated the centennial of the 1913 labour crisis and was called Labour & Lockout.
The first thing I saw when I walked in was a pile of peat — which looked like a pile of something else from a distance. It represented the demise of the peat farming industry in Ireland, but I didn’t learn this until I studied the displays and literature surrounding the peat. This is where contemporary art trips me up. The visual displays never make sense to me. Perhaps it’s the writer in me, but I need words to explain the concept, and usually, the words are enough. The visualization means little. But to each his own.
We wandered into another room and there was a sculpture of paper. I love paper. I saw this and felt dreamy inside, the way I do when I enter an office supply or stationary store. I know it’s not ecologically-correct, but I can’t help myself. I see paper and I swoon.
But what this piece of art was actually intended to represent was something quite different:
The installation image below shows the 6 feet high stack of A4 paper also titled The Normalisation of Deviance as part of the installation. This equates to the findings by a Chicago-based researcher of the number of global positions taken through the use of algorithms on one stock in one nanosecond. The total was 14,000 and equates to this amount of paper if this data was printed out.
In between museum visits, I spotted some street art just outside King John’s Castle. It captured my attention more than most of the museum exhibits. There’s something so appealing and provocative about street art. I almost wish I had a guidebook to tell me what the Hello Kitty and the eyeball in the ice cream represent here. But I don’t really need it. I’ll take the piece of art as it stands; an oddity in the colorful city of Limerick. That’s enough for me.
What kind of art moves you?