Sunday, February 14, 2016

Long Time, No Blog

Where: Hirshhorn Museum

When: through April 10, 2016

Hello again readers, if there are any of you left.  It's been almost a month since I blogged, in part because I haven't been to many museums lately.  Between Snowzilla (second largest single snowfall in DC history) and being crazy busy at work, I've only seen one show since mid-January.  No wonder I'm frazzled - I need some art therapy!

What I did see was an installation called "Part, File, Score" at the Hirshhorn, and, believe it or not, I liked it very much.  The artist is Susan Philipsz and the room-sized piece is a tribute to Hanns Eisler, a German Jewish composer.   He left Germany and came to the United States in 1938 when his music was banned by the Nazis, only to get caught up in the Red Scare after World War II.  He was deported in 1948.

On the walls of the room are large reproductions of Eisler's scores, with excerpts of the FBI's reports on him (with many redactions) superimposed.  It's tempting to keep busy walking around and reading all of this material, but it's worth it to stand in the center of the room and hear the music coming from all around you.  Each note seems to come from a different speaker, so you feel as if you're surrounded by the sound.

Verdict: Worth a look and a listen; it's one room, so ideal for a lunch time visit.

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