December 21, 2018

Gallery Etiquette (Top 5 Pet Peeves)

I go to a lot of gallery shows...so I’ve built up a pretty comprehensive list of things that get on my nerves more than anything else. Can you relate? I’ve ranked them from my most annoying to least
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Opinion

Top 5 Pet Peeves

I go to a lot of gallery shows...so I’ve built up a pretty comprehensive list of things that get on my nerves more than anything else.

Can you relate? I’ve ranked them from my most annoying to least

Having a deep conversation at Andy Warhol's exhibition 'From A to B and back again' at The Whitney

1. Elongated Conversations in FRONT OF THE ART

I love a good conversation. Especially a great conversation about an artist or an exhibition. A great exhibition should be conducive to conversation.

However, I don’t understand why people think it’s a good idea to have that conversation RIGHT IN FRONT of an artwork or in a walkway where people are trying to navigate around the gallery.

By all means have a conversation with you friend but please move aside to a corner or to the middle of the gallery. Sometimes they even put nice little benches there where you can sit and converse.

So whether you’re standing, taking a picture, or having conversation, do what you need and then move to the side. I’m just trying to get my instagram picture, let me live.

Love Cristina + Neha - just had to use a pic of us socializing :) at the Richard Prince exhibition at Gagosian

2. Asking me "What do you think of the exhibition?" 

If you’re a friend or follower than ignore this, it doesn’t apply as much to you. 

If I’m attending an exhibition - I’m ATTENDING the exhibition, aka I’m thinking about the works, I’m processing, I’m taking photos..honestly I probably don’t know how I feel about the exhibition other than “I like it” or “I don’t”...and even then, who am I to say I like it or not. Are exhibitions meant to be liked? A better question may be - how does this exhibition resonate with you, or does it?

The main reason why this is one of my biggest pet peeves is that asking me what I think of the exhibition is usually a way for someone to start conversation which usually ends in a creepy “do you have a boyfriend” or “what are you doing tonight”.... So ya, I’m here to see art. I’m an introvert. Let me be in my head and really enjoy it.

I may be checking my insta..but at least I'm doing it from the side of the artwork :) - Joan Mitchell at Cheim and Read

3. Instagramming in real-time

I, of all people, love social media. And I am a power user of social media. However, nothing drives me crazier (this applies to concerts too) when people are instagramming in real time.

I’m not talking about posting a quick story, I’m talking about taking 5 minutes to choose which filter to make your Mark Grotjahn painting look more impressive. I say this because usually this rolls up into pet peeve number 1 where a person takes a photo, then stands in front of the art work choosing a filter for ages.

In my opinion this takes away from the experience. An exhibition is meant to wandered, contemplated and absorbed, and if you’re interrupting that experience with posting to Instagram, you’re not experiencing it to the fullest.

Lisa Yuskavage's exhibition, Baby Brood at David Zwirner

4. Talking REALLY loudly

Talking really loudly in a gallery is kind of like talking really loudly in a library. If everyone else is talking really loudly - cool, no biggie, but if I can tell you everything about why your best friend Becky isn’t in your wedding then something is wrong.

Once gain, art is about having a physical and emotional experience with a work of art...it’s really hard to detach and do that if some is blabbing loudly in your ear.

Enjoying a glass of vino outside at NADA in Miami, 2018

5. Underage kids getting wasted

I love a gallery opening that has wine and or other adult beverages. What I don’t love are underage kids sniffing out the free booze in Chelsea and going HAM on it.

What I don’t love even more is when they show up wreaking of illegal substances, blasting music on their bluetooth speaker and running around the gallery like crazy people (I swear I’ve witnessed this more than once). It’s basically like throwing a rager in a holy temple. Nobody ID’s in New York..please just go grab booze and get wasted in an alley somewhere...not a gallery.

And this doesn't just apply to underage kids..obviously nobody should be getting out of hand...but this issue with being underage is that it's ILLEGAL and if the gallery is caught they can be shut down. So why take advantage and put them in an awkward and potentially detrimental situation when they're trying to do a good thing by providing some art enthusiasts free wine. WHY! 

Did I miss any? If so email me at contact@marylynnbuchanan.com

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