A Take On Military Aggression: The Delirium Exhibit At The Met Breuer

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A version of twisted that doesn’t involve alcohol.

Not ready to step out of the MoHi bubble just yet? Well, with Bwog you can relax comfortably on Low Steps and us do all the work for you. First year Audrey Ussery took initiative and went to the Met Breuer to experience the Delerious exhibit. Find out what she has to say. 

Whether the first week of class has brought back pleasant memories of academia past, or rather, has resurrected the ghosts of vicious war flashbacks, the “Delirious” exhibit at the Met Breuer offers a nice escape. The exhibit showcases approximately 100 pieces that evoke the same delirium that characterized much of the social and political resistance to military aggression that dominated the decades from 1950 to 1980. The exhibit demonstrates the form of resistance through artwork and features over 62 artists. Art is divided into four sections: Excess, Vertigo, Nonsense, and Twisted.

These sections play a large role in the way that the viewer travels through the exhibit. Excess discusses the repetition of the absurd as an art form, emphasizing the idea that the obsessive need for order is rather chaotic in nature- a paradox in itself. The Twisted section ostracizes the idea of a “perfect body”; this theme is meant as the anti-thesis to the eugenics movement during World War II. It claims that there is no “perfect body” by portraying the human form as distorted and grotesque. The Vertigo section demonstrates the sense of lacking stability, both of the body and mind, while the last section titled Nonsense epitomizes the absolute absurdity of the time period.

The exhibition makes obvious the artists’ distained for reason, but many of the works follow an absurdist disorder that is all the same therapeutic. Many of the pieces are homages to past artists, writers, and poets, such as Bruce Nauman’s digital piece, “Slow Angel Walk (Beckett Walk),” 1968, a nod to the Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett. The exhibit has a depth that surpasses the time period that it reflects by reaching into to the past to further amplify the absurdity of the present.

The Met Breuer showcases this exhibit and provides a more intimate venue to view these pieces.  Once the Whitney Museum of Art, the Met Breuer has one key perk to busy students- much shorter lines. So, whether you have an open Friday night, or are looking for another way to put off your readings, I urge you to wander over to the east side to get lost in this collection.

Image via Audrey Ussery 

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