Saturday, September 8, 2012
Directions: Antonio Rovaldi
When: through November 11, 2012
The latest in the Hirshhorn's Directions series, this video is called "The Opening Day." It features two screens, one shows a pitcher throwing a baseball, the other shows a baseball hurtling towards a ceramic object(s). The idea is that it's the same baseball, but I have no idea if that's true or not. I've seen enough of these video installations to know that appearances can be deceiving!
At first, I tried to determine if the pitcher's uniform was one I recognized. The logo was not familiar, and I was able to see that his shirt says "Fortitudo." I don't know if that's meant to be a message, or if that's the name of an actual team. After a while though, I became much more caught up in the video itself. I was mentally exhorting the pitcher to break the objects, quietly cringing if he missed and happy when some knick-knack shattered into a million pieces.
What does this say about our delight in destruction? The exhibit notes suggested that the video is meant to represent the triumph of video over the traditional arts. I think there's plenty of room for both, so my enjoyment of the "game" doesn't really fit with this interpretation. The thing that surprised me was how quickly I joined in the spirit of the demolition, no matter what it represents.
Verdict: This series is one of the few things I wholeheartedly recommend at the Hirshhorn - always off-beat, always thought-provoking.