The average museum visitor spends about fifteen seconds in front of a work of art—and in fact spends a good chunk of that small blip of time reading the wall label. What can you really see in just fifteen seconds? This exhibition is an experiment. It asks if we might entice visitors to linger, with greater openness of mind, in front of the minimalist, abstract, or conceptual works in the collection by enlisting the patient practices of mindfulness meditation, so widely popular today.
Diana Al-Hadid’s 22-foot-long sculpture Nolli’s Orders (2012) will anchor SJMA’s central skylight gallery like an aged, baroque fountain enlivening a public piazza. Nolli’s Orders refers to the 18th-century Italian architect and surveyor Giambattista Nolli, famous for his 1748 map of Rome. Al-Hadid’s towering and exuberant sculpture also evokes Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s (1598‒1680) landmark Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), built in 1651 in Rome’s Piazza Navona. Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City spotlights the artist’s personal emphasis on creative process. It will include several wall works that pertain to architectural themes, including sculptural pieces of polymer gypsum, drawings on mylar, and several drawings on vellum from the artist’s personal collection.
For the fifth iteration in the exhibition series “Beta Space,” the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) has commissioned multi-media artist Victor Cartagena to create a large-scale installation based on his interactions with the community. “Beta Space” encourages artistic risk taking and experimentation. Cartagena will create new work that draws upon the rich and varied cultural, environmental, social, and technological landscape of Silicon Valley and the greater Santa Clara County.
With California in its sixth year of drought, water conservation issues are at the forefront of political, social, legal, and artistic activism. Fragile Waters will celebrate this essential and precious resource and encourage dialog about water conservation through 117 black-and-white photographs by three artists whose work spans a century.
Artists from around the globe explore our conflicted relationship with water from a 21st-century point of view. These artist use video and installation to address diverse problems such as access and ownership in Cambodia, agricultural irrigation in the American Southwest, the ethical implications of desert settlements, and river pollution in India.