Brooklyn Museum

Sep 29 2009


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn - $6 for students with ID
Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video May 1, 2009–January 10, 2010
What are some of the themes that run through this exhibit? What is the history of video as an art form? How does it relate and differ from other creative mediums? Think about the relationship between video art and television. What about the title of the exhibition - how do these artists treat video like a mirror? What issues does this strategy help them to explore?

After work I decided to go on

After work I decided to go on my field trip to the Brooklyn museum. Before I left, I informed my roommates that if I did not return to call the police. I was born in Philadelphia but raised in the outskirts of Philadelphia. Every time I would go in a bad neighborhood something would always happen. I have been through the cross fire, robbery, and dangerous fights. I took the two to Brooklyn museum. Once I got out the station I laid my eyes on the actual build I was astonished. Like most of the New York artuatextue, this build was truly majestic. I arrived at four o’clock and only had an hour to do what I had to do for the assignment. I went straight to the electric mirror room. So that I did not waste anytime I watched all of the videos but out of all of the videos I saw only three that interest me.
Cathay Begien’s 2004, Black Out is about a women retelling a particular night out with her friends. During the video I could not tell if she was crying or laughing. I think the reason why this video touched me is because Begien did not state the emotion; the audience member had to decide on their own. From the video I think she was laughing on the out side but deeply crying on the in. WKRH report video was hilarious. The reports were stupid but I really enjoyed myself. I wish I could had more time to watch the video. The last video that interested me was Klare Liden had three videos were wonderful. Paralyzed was strength up stupid but interesting at the same time. Bodies of society was by far the best video Liden made. Bodies of society was about Liden getting her bike stolen. Sinc she was angery, she took her frustration out on another bike with a metal pipe. During the film I stated to cheer her on. Ohyra was Liden doing everyday chores and messing up and then abusing her self. Though this video was crazy, it showed what most people want to do to themselves when they mess up big time. As for the rest of the videos they were lame. The whole exhibit was a bunch of movies the meant nothing but said a lot.

This Sunday I took a trip to

This Sunday I took a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video exhibit. At first I was very confused by the point of this exhibit. I was not able to understand the meaning behind these feminist videos. But once I noticed how these women utilized the opportunities that video allows them, I saw the deaper meaning to their work.
Although video is the most high tech and modern form of art, it allows artist to be simple and get away with it. Video is different from other mediums because it depicts movement in the most precise way possible. There was one piece in particular that caught my attention. Cathy Begien’s “Still From Black Out” was a video that was very simple but was able to get across an extremely deap message.
Cathy is sitting on a chair directly in front of the camera. She is immediately blind folded. Cathy’s friends surround her in the video as she proceeds to descbribe her night out. She is handed numerous different alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. While this is happening it is not clear whether Cathy begins to laugh or cry. She is telling her story with a very monotoned voice and appears to be very vulnerable.
I enjoyed this video because Cathy was able to portay herself as such a vulnerable person. I think the way she chose blindfold herself and is handed drinks and cigarettes makes it seem that the people around her are making all her decisions for her. This was the most interesting video that I saw because I feel that Cathy actually thought deaper into the benefits of video instead of seeming like an amature.

This Sunday I took a trip to

This Sunday I took a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video exhibit. At first I was very confused by the point of this exhibit. I was not able to understand the meaning behind these feminist videos. But once I noticed how these women utilized the opportunities that video allows them, I saw the deaper meaning to their work.
Although video is the most high tech and modern form of art, it allows artist to be simple and get away with it. Video is different from other mediums because it depicts movement in the most precise way possible. There was one piece in particular that caught my attention. Cathy Begien’s “Still From Black Out” was a video that was very simple but was able to get across an extremely deap message.
Cathy is sitting on a chair directly in front of the camera. She is immediately blind folded. Cathy’s friends surround her in the video as she proceeds to descbribe her night out. She is handed numerous different alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. While this is happening it is not clear whether Cathy begins to laugh or cry. She is telling her story with a very monotoned voice and appears to be very vulnerable.
I enjoyed this video because Cathy was able to portay herself as such a vulnerable person. I think the way she chose blindfold herself and is handed drinks and cigarettes makes it seem that the people around her are making all her decisions for her. This was the most interesting video that I saw because I feel that Cathy actually thought deaper into the benefits of video instead of seeming like an amature.

The building itself was a lot

The building itself was a lot bigger and grander then I had expected. This particular exhibit was interesting and different from the others because it was made up of a bunch of movies. At first I didn’t quite understand how the videos would translate into a feminist movement but it became apparent that the women who made these videos used this as an opportunity to speak their mind on certain subjects. The videos were created by nine people who also were featured in the videos. I think having the creators in the videos helped get there message across stronger because they were now the ones relaying it to the audience. It allows them to have the freedom to do whatever they want. The videos ranged from funny to somewhat dark with everything else in between. The one I found that really reflected a feminist theme was “Blood From A Stone”. This video shows a housewife moving heavy blocks of plaster on to a high shelf. I found this interesting because the way the housewife is dressed was the way you would imagine a typical housewife to be. However, she is enduring a type of labor that would most typically be done by the husband in the family. This video kind of mocks the old views of how women in society were supposed to be like. It is taken to the next level when she is shown participating in something that most people would consider to be “out of her nature”. All of the other videos also had underlying themes of feminism but I found this one to be most prevalent.

One of the most impressive

One of the most impressive things about the Brooklyn Museum has to be the building itself. It looks similar to the New York Public library. It has those large columns synonymous with older architecture. It looks almost Roman as you approach it, but when you go inside it suddenly becomes a modern looking building that is quite impressive to behold. The “Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist video” exhibit was quite impressive as well. The exhibit features new feminist artist who were inspired by 70s feminists who used the then brand new medium of video to express their feelings on the feminist movement that was happening at the time. The films varied in length from some that were only a minute to longer ones that were about five minutes in length. The films mostly featured women in front of a still camera doing things ranging from walking up a hill to being tormented by a group of strangers with party noisemakers. Some of the videos used humor to get their point across while others used more serious poignant tactics. The video that I was most entertained by was called Paralyzed and featured a woman dancing and yelping on a subway. I enjoyed it because I found it hilarious, and the fact that this was in a museum and that people paid to see it also entertains me greatly. Not that it was bad or that I didn’t think that it qualified as art. It is the fact that this is art and that the women is trying to say something through this that makes me enjoy this work the most.

Going to the Brooklyn Museum

Going to the Brooklyn Museum was a great experience and I actually had to go there for two different classes so I killed two birds with one museum. My favorite part about this museum was the absolutely gorgeous stained glass they had, unfortunately that;s not why I was there. Walking into the Feminist Exhibit I was a little confused at first because I had no idea what was going on. After watching two of the movies, Whacker and Happy Ending, I felt even more confused about what I should be getting out of this exhibit. It wasn’t until I read the wording on the walls that it became more clear to me what these unique women were trying to do. When you look in the mirror it’s to see what you look like, what to fix, add, or take away from your appearance. I think it is a very abstract, but efficient way to observe yourself by using a camera and making a video of tasks or emotions you feel the way these feminists did. A common theme I saw in these videos were women doing self imposed tasks and in doing so learning about themselves and how they react to things. The reason using video to relay a message is such a big step further away from other mediums of art is because women and men were equally pioneering this new form of media. I had a very different feeling about the use of video after I left the museum because this exhibit opened my eyes to a whole knew way to use it as a self reflector.

As a man, going to a feminist

As a man, going to a feminist exhibit was really frightening for me. I didn’t know if I was going to get yelled at for having a penis or just completely banned from the exhibit. When I entered the Brooklyn Museum I was, like everyone else astonished by the architecture and design of the whole thing. First stop cafeteria-they had really good apple cider. Then i went to the exhibit. For some reason my pulse was racing and my head full of feminist stereo-types was pounding. Yet, I was excited to see the video. To my surprise it was more than one video and the room looked like some sort of futuristic class room with different stations and bright TV’s. The video’s were all interesting and it took sometime for me to just look at it as art instead of a low-budget, not funny youtube video. The one that hit me most was “whacker” with the girl weed whacking in heels, it took something considered manly and added a very, “whatever you can do, I can do better” approach and actually had me sitting there entertained. What i enjoyed more than the videos was the exhibit right next to it with the big dinner table with a table set for important women figures.

Upon emerging from the subway

Upon emerging from the subway entrance at the Brooklyn Museum, I craned my neck to get a good view of the beautiful stone and glass exterior. I entered through the large, glimmering rotating door and made my way to the “Reflections on the Mirror: The New Feminist Video” exhibit. I first took a seat in Jen DeNike’s viewing room where I watched a simple, yet chilling video entitled “There are No Happy Endings.” Next, I moved to Klara Liden’s viewing room where I witnessed Klara slowly destroy a bicycle with a long pole. My favorite video, however, was Cathy Begien’s “Blackout,” which I found to be not only artistic but very entertaining.

I gathered a bit of history as I continued to walk around the exhibit. In the 1970’s, feminists used video as a tool to express their inner emotions and identities. I believe that is why this exhibit is titled “Reflections on the Mirror.” Instead of expressing their emotions to a mirror, they captured it on film. The movies are so intimate, it’s as if you, the viewer, are the mirror they are looking into. Using this newfound tool of self-expression, these women were able to touch upon political issues, personal frustrations, and current society matters in a way that was more effective than other creative mediums, such as a writing a poem or painting a picture. This exhibit was an excellent example of another huge part of the feminist movement, and overall, I found it to be an interesting and educational experience.

Coming from a very liberal

Coming from a very liberal and feminist driven hometown I knew what I was in for when I ventured to the Brooklyn Museum to look at the Reflections on the Electric Mirror exhibit. The museum was so beautiful and very sophisticated looking so right off the bat I was excited to explore. The videos were an interesting new way of viewing art in my opinion. Normally i think of art in a museum as art in a painting or sculpture. However, this was like a breath of fresh air, experiencing something new like this. The videos of women doing specific assignments as a way of proving feminism was very interesting i thought. In Northampton, Massachusetts where I am from, the logo of our town is “Northampton, where the coffee is strong and the women are even stronger!” It was nice being at the museum because it reminded me of the fierce, strong, outspoken feminists from home I’d see yelling at a man because they parked incorrectly in the street or something similar to that.
I also thought that it was interesting seeing this exhibit because it was completely different from what i sort of wrote my recent magazine article paper on. My article involved sexual innuendo with women. And in a lot of ads today in the media, by objectifying women for what they look like, to sell the companies product, is completely ironic to what the feminist in the exhibit were there to prove. The way the media influences the world is truly incredible. It can cause people to be bias one way and then another way in an instant.

This was my first time going

This was my first time going into Brooklyn, ever. So, understandably I was a bit nervous and had no prior knowledge as to how to operate the subway systems of New York in the safest and most efficient way possible. It was quite the experience. I tried to stay on my phone in some way at most all times, as some form of connection to a place I knew and could navigate a bit better.

When I finally emerged from the subway system and found my way to the Brooklyn museum, I found it’s exterior appearance to be more conducive to the traditional modern or contemporary museum we were all taken to once or twice when we were in middle school or high school. I found the exhibit really interesting as a whole. My mom works in a performing arts magnet school and she incorporates elements of film into many of her productions there, so it was really interesting to see so many connections between the way women have related to the world through film and the way it has changed across so many decades. It was really interesting to see the exhibit for me (personally), as well, because the paper I wrote for last week’s class was centered around a 1970’s Jell-O advertisement which was created on the cusp of the feminist movement.

My only hinderance in thought to the exhibit initially as a whole was the fact that there is just so much to be analyzed and so many avenues by which one can approach any given portion of the entirety of feminism…and when you add in a field of the entertainment industry like film, the topic would appear to be narrowed slightly but really, it’s all the more complicated. It makes me wonder, mainly, if society will ever find an acceptable answer to the way the feminist movement should direct itself now…or if that answer exists.

On my way to the Brooklyn

On my way to the Brooklyn museum, I didn’t know what to expect. At the other museums, there were paintings, so seeing that there were videos was a nice change. Watching the videos made me realize that art does not just have to be performed, acted, or drawn like in the other museums. Video art is a powerful means of sending a message. Television was a new innovation and the feminists were wise in using it as art and to spread their message because it is quick and effective, as opposed to a picture that requires more attention. However, the videos were impressive because they do not describe everything that is happening, you have to interpret what you are watching. The way I interpreted the “Black Out” by Cathy Begien video was that women were not allowed to make decisions for themselves. Their decisions were made for them by a male dominated society. Even though the video is decades old, it still relates to today’s world. Not only is it a mirror for women watching the video and thinking about their own lives, it is a mirror for women everywhere because there are many countries where women still do not have many rights. I remembered that just almost a year and a half ago, in Pakistan, a women’s rights demonstration went by my house. The area I lived in was known as embassy road, which is where almost all demonstrations in Islamabad would pass through. These women were fighting for more rights, but the funny thing is, the late Benazir Bhutto, believed that a woman’s place was at home, cooking and caring for their. How could she say that if she is a political leader? The videos are a way of telling women that they need to look at their lives, and see if they are satisfied. It would be viewed differently in different parts of the world, depending on what rights women already have.

This being my first

This being my first experience at this museum of such diverse culture I tried to take in everything I could, even though due to its hours it was difficult for me to get to. Although you assigned us to see the Reflections on the Electric Mirror: A Feminist Video I found the exhibit From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith to be intriguing with all the different aspects of his jewelry designs. I spent a little too much time in this exhibit but still found time to see the videos before closing of the museum. I found all of these films yet simple in the filming techniques to be having a very deep meaning to be interpreted. My favorite film was “Still from Black Out” by Cathy Begien. I found this oddly relatable to much of my past with people from the outside essentially telling you what to do. The use of her simple film style of just sitting straight in front of the camera was a bold choice to keep the interest. This choice also laid out everything and let you see and interpret the meaning instead of being distracted like many films out there are. What I found interesting about many of these films was how they related to the feminist movement. Although I found a clear meaning behind these all women created films many people could see them in different ways. Some may see it as more of a sexist type of film like in the Gilmore film where she is lifting heavy boxes while dressed in your typical housewife attire. I being very interested in film found the feminist pieces of work very inspiring and a large step in the movement that still has resonance today.
-Meghan Rose Murphy

I have never seen anything in

I have never seen anything in person that involved feminism until I went to see this exhibit. As soon as I went up the stairs from the train station, I was incredibly impressed and delighted to see what was in front of me. In complete awe of the beautiful and grand architecture, I entered the building in search for my feminist adventure. Since I only had a couple of hours to kill before class, I tried to make the best of my trip. Upon entering the exhibit, I came across an introduction on the wall about the Feminist Video Art of the 1970’s. I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon until I read the description. The more videos I watched, the more I understood what I had read. The sole purpose of these women was to reveal their innermost personal experiences in front of a “mirror.”
The videos that appealed to me the most were those that used humor. The video entitled “News Report” portrayed two newscasters as men, mimicking TV broadcasts. I read that the reports focuses on un-newsworthy events and are completely uninformative. I was amused by their statement “Pregnant with Information.” Another video I liked was “Commercials,” a grainy black & white short film which advertised products that targeted women. I was definitely able to recognize the influence of Charlie Chaplin in this video.
After watching more videos in the collection, it was clear to me where these women came from. They treated the camera as a mirror in order to get their perspective across in hopes of not being judged.

One would think that living

One would think that living in New York City means that you know your way around the five boroughs. Well, this NYC resident doesn’t know her way around Brooklyn to save my life. One hour on the bus, two hours on the three train, and i still got off at the wrong stop! However, after traveling for what seemed like an eternity I finally made it to the Brooklyn Museum. “”Reflection on the Electric Mirror” was a striking exhibit. The videos were a bit bizarre at times, but after watching the videos in their entirety I began to realize the true meaning behind their existence. Most of these women were trying to comment on the ways of society. “Commercials” was very simple, but effective in the way in which it depicted the products. It was simple but straightforward. This video was basically showing the viewer all the things women use to look better and essentially change themselves. The film makers were each commenting on the portrayal of women within society. “Blood from a Stone” shows this aspect much clearer than some of the other films. The woman was dressed in ‘housewife” garb, yet she was doing something that would be characterized as “a mans work.” The film maker was saying that women are equal to men, and they can do the same work that men can. The entire exhibit was interesting to view, and definitely got its point across through film as its medium.

I never really go to

I never really go to Brooklyn, in fact I never even knew there was such a thing as the borough even having a museum. When I walked up to the museum I was shocked to see how huge it was. I thought it was going to be a hole in the wall museum with rooms filled with local artists’ pieces. I was excited to see a new type of art expressed through videos. I quickly saw the connection to the Communications Class after I remembered our discussion on media. I walked in to the exhibit a little afraid of what kind of videos I would be watching. I know feminist art is very expressive and may seem bizarre from a first glimpse. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. My first impression was I loved the way it was set up. It was like private cornered off areas that made watching the video easier. I previously pictured a series of TVs hung on a wall all replaying the same video over and over. I thought I was going to walk in to a room filled with loud TVs. I have to admit I did not enjoy all of the short films. However, there was one that I enjoyed, and I see I was not the only one who did. The video called “Black Out” really caught my intention. It seemed like a typical night out that everyone can relate to. It showed all the crazy dramatics that can take place on a night out with friends, alcohol, and loud music. I think its safe to say that most of us have been in that position of sitting in a chair feeling like you are blind folded as the night’s events unfold.
The use of video to express different ideas seemed a lot like today’s media. I mean what is the purpose of media? Its a tool used to get out as much information to everyone as possible. Television is part of media and serves as one of the tools. These feminist artist were inspired by previous artists to take television and incorporate it in to their work. They were successful in doing the same thing as media, conveying a message so that all can see.

This particular exhibit was

This particular exhibit was very interesting in powerful, and my favorite of the museums visited so far. All of the works were connected in way. Some of the ideas conveyed and themes covered were women acting out, poking fun at mass media, and the frustration of tedious, meaningless tasks. These artists are apart of a second wave of feminism that is rooted in 1970’s radicalism, and this movement really is embracing technology to create personal narratives through film. I am sure the female artists of the 1970’s used Portapak cameras as well to create similar narratives and works of film to express the similar themes as these artists do today. After all in the late 1960’s Sony introduced its first portable video system which really opened the door for smaller scale movies and DIY projects that did not require editing and thousands of dollars.
The creative medium of film differs from other forms of art- painting, sculptures, writing, and photography- because its meaning reaches a much broader audience. Films, in some cases, are a lot more direct and the artists meaning or message is easy to comprehend because films are so life-like. Films can say a lot even if it is plotless and seemingly random. For example, in Jen DeNikes “THERE ARE NO HAPPY ENDINGS,” the artist is simply holding up placards that spell out: There are no happy Endings. This film that is played over and over again is so simple, and the despondent idea is conveyed directly to the viewer.
My absolute favorite part of the exhibit was actually not the films, but Judy Chicago’s the “Dinner Party.” I found the idea very amusing. I attended a very liberal all girls high school and our motto was “Empowering women to make a difference sine 1928,” and I know that all the teachers would of loved the themes and the message of the exhibit.

I have to say that the

I have to say that the building was impressive, and the truth is that I was not expecting it to be so big. It was a different experience visiting Brooklyn Museum than visiting The Morgan Museum or the New Museum. I took me a while until I found my way around, (I think the interior space was a little confusing) and I made it to the fourth floor where the “Reflections on the Electric Mirror”, new feminist video exhibition was. The particular exhibition was not very crowded in comparison to others, and most people would just pass by and ignore it. Video gave in a way power to women to show who they are in contrast to how the rest of the world sees them. It was a way for them to express themselves, and issues that they were struggling with, and sometimes they did so, through a smart humoristic-sarcastic way. I found the title to match perfectly with the subject of the exhibition. “Reflections on the Electric Mirror” the reflections that stand for the women’s thoughts and their point of view, on the electric mirror which means the camera and the “woman” standing in frond of it, as standing in frond of the mirror showing her real self, and who she really is. Video as a new medium was definitely a big revolution that helped women create art and show their point of view. When I was watching the videos I also thought of YouTube and how many people use it for the same purpose as the feminist used their videos almost fifty years ago.

After going all the way to

After going all the way to Brooklyn, I must say I was disappointed in the exhibit. There were a few videos that touched me and made me think but at the same time there were some that didn’t agree with me. One of the videos that I liked was Cathy Begien’s video “Blackout”, which was actually prevalent to the lives of many young women today, allowing me to relate to her message. Another video I enjoyed was the woman making fun of the products advertised to women, which allowed the audience to laugh with her at some of the stereotypes of women. But at the same time I was surprised at how annoyed and disgusted I was with one artist in particular, Klara Liden. Her video’s made me embarrassed for her and for myself; feminists like her give all women a bad reputation. The WKRH videos were funny and entertaining, allowing women to point out the stereotypes of men instead of pointing the problems society associated with women. A problem I noticed with most of the videos was that they were just another way to complain, something that most people deal with enough every day. The Dinner Party display was interesting enough, with vaginas being seen as hallways or pianos.
I must admit I went into the museum with a bias toward feminist art to begin with, so I may not have given it a fair chance, but to me feminist art just seems to be a lot of complaining, and some just seemed like women who just want to hear themselves talk. The idea of mirroring themselves through video seems like a great form of expression, but for some of them to be called art seemed like a stretch.

After making way all the way

After making way all the way down to Brooklyn to go to the Brooklyn Museum I found myself in awe staring at the architecture in front of my eyes. I made my way to the Reflections on the Electric Mirror exhibit, and found myself watching many short films all about feminism. Many of the films had symbolism involved to get their point across. My favorite video seemed to be one in which a girl was holding up poster boards with words on them relaying a message: “there are no happy endings”. It was a very artsy yet weirdly fascinating time watching the videos. In the exhibit I found a formation of tables that were in the shape of a triangle, and on each table there were place-mats with famous names of women and goddesses, and each had plates on them in which the plate was art in the form of the woman genitalia. Also there was a video of a girl with a blindfold describing the events of a party and as she talks the party is reenacted, this video was very interesting too. Overall the Brooklyn Museum was an extremely entertaining trip, which I did not expect at all.

I was unable to make it to

I was unable to make it to the Brooklyn museum this weekend because I had relatives in town. However I was finally able to make it on Wednesday afternoon after class. Better late then never I figured. I have never been intimidated by Brooklyn the way so many people seem to be. I arrived at the museum without any major mishaps. I am always amazed by how Manhattan and Brooklyn can be so close geographically, yet they seem worlds apart.
I was instantly impressed with the museum’s architecture and size. Once inside I quickly made my way to the exhibit, because it was late in the afternoon and I was afraid the museum would close before I had a chance to explore the exhibit. Since I had already taken part in the class discussion about the Brooklyn museum I had some pre conceived ideas about the exhibit. This wasn’t a bad thing though, I actually thought it was very helpful as I explored the exhibit. As I viewed the film I reflected on my classmate’s impressions of the exhibit and specific films.
Because of our class discussion I spent allot of time focusing on the video of the women all dressed up, smashing the bike. I found it particularly interesting after we discussed the difference in handlebars on women’s bikes and male’s bikes. That added an entire new dimension of symbolism to the film that i wouldn’t have noticed on my own. This allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the film. Overall I felt that the class discussion enhanced my visit to the museum.

i realized my comment never

i realized my comment never submitted-

Florence, I too am from Philadelphia! On the contrary, I was not nervous to go into Brooklyn, I was excited as I spent my summer dancing there and have not been back since august. The train ride there was longer than expected but I kept myself occupied staring at the cutest baby, in the world! I got off the train and walked up the staircase at the Parkway stop, not knowing exactly what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to tilt my head backwards, so my eyes could take in the complete architecture of the enormous building. I quickly found myself on the elevator, heading up to the fourth floor. At first, I was slightly confused as to the order of the exhibit but I soon figured it out. I immediately saw the ties between the video work and the feminist movement. The first video I saw was of a violent woman, self-hurting and being all around destructive to her belongings. As I read the subtitles the woman was stating, “I don’t clean or wash dishes.” This statement is very relevant to the feminist movement. In addition when the woman was destroying her bicyclical I realized it was a woman’s bicycle, further enforcing the movement and allowing the video to be a revealing source of history. The second video I observed was of a woman, cutting weeds in an insufficient way. The weeds represented the role that women had begun to take on, “wild grass, that insists on growing.” The insufficient method, represented society, trying to bring women down. The third video I watched was the repetitive “there are no happy endings.” This video fascinated me as the scenery juxtaposed the message the woman was delivering. I then watched the video of the woman with the blocks, as I was reading the excerpt it stated that these videos were intended for self-examination. This caught me off guard, because in sociology class we are studying human behavior, and we learned that if one is under the scrutiny of a camera, they’re not being entirely themselves. Although, I understand the title of the exhibit—as these videos served as mirrors to society. I believe the word electric was used to represent progression in this movement. After the videos, I walked around the exhibit, and looked at the beautiful plates—representing famous forgotten strong women in history. Leaving the museum I felt enlightened and empowered to know just how far we have come!

-Pamela Kirsch

Robert Frank captured a

Robert Frank captured a variety of scenes of everyday life of the Americans, and it seems that his main focus was to show to the world what America was all about, what things matter for its people, also different issues that American people were facing during that decade. I was surprised to see that his photographs were from all over the United States and which helped me better appreciate his work. His images would show ordinary people on the streets, couples, waitresses, Yale graduation, also view from a hotel window, the American flag in a bar, Canal Street, 4th of July, Yom Kippur, assembly line, images of movie stars in Hollywood, bar in Las Vegas, Mississippi river and so many others. He very successfully showed the real America and its people in a time period where perfection, happiness, freedom, education, money were some of the words in many people’s minds when they would think of America, and he chose to highlight some of the difficulties that minority groups and women had to face. By setting Robert Frank’s exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum made it accessible to a wider audience. Metropolitan Museum is known for its variety of its collections; visitors literally can see and experience the entire world by visiting the Met. By just entering the building, the colors, the lightening, the flowers make the visitors appreciate what it is in the museum without even seeing it yet; even the security guards’ uniforms have an aristocratic touch. The room where Robert Frank’s black and white photographs were set was a separate room before the big exhibit of European paintings and sculpture, and the big sign of his name did not let anyone miss it.