As I walk through the door of Savvy Contemporary Saturday night into the small, brightly lit room my first thought is, “Ok, this is just the entrance hall.” I quickly glance at the art and head toward the next room which proves to be even smaller than the first one. Still holding out hope that there is more space further in to the gallery, I push my way through a claustrophobia-inducing crowd of people crammed into a small hallway by the bathrooms. I end up in what appears to be someone’s kitchen, where a group of girls stand chopping a copious amount of vegetables – the smell of soup is so strong it is impossible to ignore. I think for a moment that perhaps I have stumbled into someone’s apartment by accident, but then finally accept, begrudgingly, that this is the entire art space. So I turn to the art, and that’s when the real disappointment commences.
I had very high hopes for this latest exhibition at Savvy, “The White Male Complex No. 1.” I found the idea extremely intriguing, because when an exhibition is based on racial profiles, the heterosexual white male is never the primary subject. So I was curious to get some insight into this demographic, the only true “non-minority” in the world. However, with this exhibit I have to regret I got no more insight on what it is to be a white, heterosexual male then what is to be an endangered Guatemalan tree frog. Ultimately, the fundamental problem was simply a general lack of understanding.
As with any contemporary art which borders on the obscure, a thorough explanation of the concept is key for the audience to interpret the work. However, this information was not readily available, leading to several minutes of bewilderment as I hopelessly searched for a placard or label. I finally realized that I needed to shove my way back to the entrance of the gallery and pick up a 5-page stapled information packet (front and back, mind you).
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