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To View and Contemplate What’s in Front of Me

As talkative and social as I can be with a mind that can go a mile a minute, my hobbies encourage me to shut up for a while and to try to focus on what’s in front of me. This then is why I love reading and going to museums; they force you to try absorbing the object of interest and when this happens, you’re properly entertained and maybe even relaxed as you’re not thinking of anything else.

Visiting museums has definitely become an encouraging hobby and I can’t recommend it enough. While I’m really not an intellectual snob who doesn’t entertain herself in other ways – mostly binge watching because I’m a hermit – I keep trying to cultivate this hobby for the mere love of it as well as to learn of others and this world we live in. Of course, for what purpose does my brain need all that information for – an amateur (as much as I dislike that word for how it sounds, but not its meaning) who also doesn’t want to have a cluttered mind where a learned fact might pop up suddenly while I’m trying to write an essay? However, even if I never discuss what I’ve seen or read, I don’t want to keep a narrow mind.

This is why visiting museums and galleries has become quite entertaining, even if these spaces only allow walking around and “viewing” – boring to some, quite calming to my hectic mind since this rids my mind of everything else. Art connects me to the past; an object that has been made a century or more before is an incredible physical showcase of a deceased artist’s thoughts and ideas, their brushwork or molding that share their physical view with me or symbolizes what was going on a century ago inside someone’s mind that’s been preserved ever since. I’ve always loved history so I get overwhelmed in front of older works and still learn stories with almost a childlike interest. Whether these stories are pleasant, tragic, or horrid that certainly make me question the artists behind the works, they’re worth knowing to me like any story with a moral.

Art connects me to the present with the art of photography and with the art of experimentation. Photographs can surely be more dynamic than paintings, whether from the mid to late twentieth century or from the twenty-first, since photography always starts with the very real that can turn into something delightful or bizarre (the person’s view or their model), even if a photo is later experimented with by layers and details. But it’s a powerful practice because of its basis which is an electric device that can be carried anywhere and can snap a shot of anything at any time—something that evidently, we can all do but some do it with a great eye to their environment and subject. Art that is experimental, to tell the truth, always makes me most uncomfortable; it either says nothing or everything and anything, yet I continue to sometimes see contemporary art because, obviously, the human mind is fascinating and leaves me puzzled. The question, then, that’s raised and keeps me interested is: what is the modern creative human mind thinking and capable of? It’s positively not just painting and photos anymore; it can be anything from a mundane object to sound to movement. But I’ll keep learning this as I’ll keep learning about art history.

Engaging with artworks, then, becomes quite entertaining because to me it has the same effect as reading a book or watching a tv-series (or a movie): it mesmerizes, perplexes, stuns, annoys, and saddens me. (I could probably add more emotions, but I don’t have a dictionary. Can you think of another emotion? Have you ever been angered by a work?) And while this appears contradictory to what I wrote earlier – that a gallery space can be “calming to my hectic mind” – I do mean that my mind gets a break from worries and stresses which creates that calm that enables you to enjoy your hobby. It can be awfully hard sometimes to focus on something outside of work and studies. A gallery space helps since I’m physically there and am immediately compelled to view and contemplate what’s in front of me. Otherwise, I’m just standing in a space with framed objects and three-dimensional figures.

An English major in University of Helsinki who adores culture's most valuable and beautiful subjects like literature and art.
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