Friday, July 9, 2021

Author and Audience: Oceanside Museum of Art curates Hotel Art

 by Patricia Frischer

Oceanside Museum of Art co-curator Rebecca Webb was in conversation with Annalise Neil, Margaret Noble and Einar de la Torre about the work they created for The Mission Pacific Hotel and The Seabird Resort in downtown Oceanside.  Watch the  whole conversation on utube

After each artist made a quick presentation of current and past work, Rebecca Webb asked a series of questions; about their relationship with the audience for the work, the use of any private messages in the art, how the title guides the audience into the work and how they felt about the hotel as a museum venue.

Annalise Neil  (work displayed in the hotel spa)

Often people comment, “I don’t understand this art.” But Neil believes that art does not exist until someone notices it. She actually wants people to be confused so that they have look harder and think. Sometimes she uses subversions or visual tricks within the art to discover more layers of meaning on the micro level. All the objects she portrays with the cyanotype process (images developed by the sun’s interaction with chemicals) are object found in Oceanside.  We can appreciate these objects if we are very present and notice details.  She said it was thrilling to make such a large work and happy to have so many eye balls on her creations. The publicness of the space which for these works is on permanent display, creates opportunities to see them over time. 

Margaret Noble (work displayed in the hotel lobby)

Noble knows you can’t control how the audience perceives the work. Her art is about time and memory. She has an interest in writing code for algorithms. This adds an element of symmetric perfection to the found images.  The title is the shortest way to get people connected using text. Since the work is curated it is different than “typical” hotel art which is  sometimes decorative and not challenging. Noble is known for sound art but this work has no sound element but there is a sort of lyrical repetition in the lines. 

Einar de la Torre for The de la Torre Brothers (work displayed in the hotel elevator)

Artist wants to hear as many comments about their work as possible. The audience always thinks the artist knows exactly what the work is about, so it is not possible to ask the audience directly. Instead,  de la Torre says they need to eavesdrop on the visitor to discover a whole sets of other meanings other than their own. As maximalist artists, there is a huge amount of details that can be discovered over and over with each trip in the elevator. Their works are like are fractals, with things layered inside of other things. The audience at the hotels will be speaking different languages, a connection to why this work is themed to The Tower of Babel. The brothers choose titles that are humorous, even puns as a hook to draw people into the art. Making good public art is the goal even with a client setting parameters. They seek to convert people to  become art enthusiast by making them comfortable with seeing art in everyday settings. 

This is part of 3 of a 3-part series. Part 1 Art in Private Places: Oceanside Museum of Art curates Hotel Art

Rebecca Webb was in conversation with Annalise NeilEinar de la Torre  and Margaret Noble 

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