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Flash!

Evelin, TAG Member

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012

Nashashibi/Skaer (British). Flash in the Metropolitan, 2006. Film; 16mm, color, silent, 3' 25". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2010, (2010.403) © Nashashibi/Skaer

«The short film Flash in the Metropolitan documents different works of art at the Met in the middle of the night. The filmmakers moved throughout the galleries with a flash strobe and a 16mm film camera on a track. The film is only three minutes and twenty-five seconds long, but it is on a constant loop in the gallery. This is my favorite piece because it's so unique and the film focuses on works of art chosen by the filmmakers.» Also, the nighttime vibe is special because no one is around. It is unique, risky, and mysterious.

Who knew that these works of art could take on a different personality at night? This recent film captures works of art from long ago in a new way.

When the awesome curator Doug Eklund talked about this piece, he mentioned that the British arts organization who commissioned this work needed permission from the Met before shooting it. I was shocked that the Met granted their wish!

After seeing the short film, I have several questions for the filmmakers: Why did they choose to make their film in the middle of the night? Was it scary? Which galleries did they go to and why? Did they sleep in the Museum?

Evelin. Piece Equals Personality, 2012. Collage.

Inspired by Flash in the Metropolitan, my artwork above—titled Piece Equals Personality—is a collage of images. Like the film, each image has a completely different personality when taken out of its original context.

Come to the Met, watch this short film, and let us know what questions you have. We welcome them below.

Comments

  • Doug Eklund says:

    Hi Evelin,
    Thanks for this thoughtful post, your questions, and even a work of your own! I obviously can't answer on behalf of Rosalind and Lucy, but my guess is that their idea to shoot in the dark went hand in hand with the idea of briefly illuminating the artworks. By shooting in darkness, I feel--and this is just my reading--that they wanted to remove the interpretative museological setting from the objects, which were after all mostly created for ritual or ceremonial purposes and not to be slotted into an art historical narrative. By shining a light on each object, the filmmakers most likely enjoyed how the illumination causes the object to emerge suddenly and then leave its afterimage on the viewer's retinae as it fades back into darkness. Sort of like floating down a river at night and seeing these mysterious creatures running free from the cages we put them in, however lovingly. Hope that makes sense!
    Thanks again for starting the conversation!
    Doug

    Posted: July 2, 2012, 2:37 p.m.

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About the Author

Evelin is a member of the Museum's Teen Advisory Group.

About this Blog

This blog, written by the Metropolitan Museum's Teen Advisory Group (TAG) and occasional guest authors, is a place for teens to talk about art at the Museum and related topics.