Experiential Value: Art & Sports
For quite some time now Retroactive I by Robert Rauschenberg has been my favorite work of art. I gained my appreciation for this work while in college where I was immersed in art history classes and printmaking classes. I was also taking a few media and music studies courses that centered on the decade of the 60’s. I was quite enamored with how everything about American art, music, and culture was in flux and changing. Needless to say, this was the perfect storm for me falling in love with Rauschenberg’s work.
Today I was comparing some of my attitudes about sports with my attitudes about art. Sports is something that I believe is best experienced in person. Anyone that knows me has at one point in time endured me opining about fans that have never been to, nor seen their favorite team in person. As pertains to baseball, common culprits are fans of the Braves, Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs. (I’m from the Midwest) In my mind, how could someone espouse to “love” a team so much and never make the trek to their favorite team’s ball park? When thinking about this today, I could not help but compare that opinion of mine and how it probably should apply to the art world.
I’ve never seen Retroactive I. How could it possibly be my all-time favorite work of art? Am I no different than the sports “fans” of which I like to take a mild shot at? I think to come right down to it, yes I am no different. A month or so ago I tweeted my summer top three baseball destinations and my top three art museum destinations. Well, I believe a new “top 3” list just came into play and that would be: “Top 3 art works to see in person.” In lieu of a trip to Connecticut to see Retroactive I a substitute trip to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art to see Retroactive II might have to be in my near future.
Diving into this just a bit further it got me thinking: “How can I as a future arts administrator/arts advocate recreate that enthusiasm for sports into an enthusiasm for art experiences?” For me art can be as visceral an experience as a sporting event can be. One of my favorite travel pastimes has been what I call the Day/Night Doubleheader: Art Museum by day and Baseball game by night. It works out so perfectly, especially when visiting an out of town destination.
So, art fans make up your list of destinations and get out and support your “home team.”