Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crowds For The Loss

I went to the SF Museum of Modern Art to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit with a friend Saturday. Sounds good right? It should have been, Kahlo was a great artist, and they have amassed a great collection for this exhibit. But, sadly, it is too popular for it’s own good.

They have timed tickets which are designed to keep the crowds down – you have a 20 minute window to enter (set 30 minutes apart) and most people spend 30-45 minutes in the exhibit. Of course there are also a bunch of people with the audio tour, more on them later. This is a good plan, except that it means that you have a huge cluster of people entering at the entry times (they try to meter it, but we’ve all seen the meters for highway entrances that seem to have no effect on traffic). So you have a big crowd in the exhibit, everyone trying to look at the same paintings, as you basically are railroaded in to a particular viewing pattern (which might be good, because they are chronological). And to make matters worse, about 10-20% of the people are on the audio tour, and oblivious to those around them. So, instead of being able to move between paintings at your own pace, you are railroaded to spend a long time at some paintings, because the guy in front of you is just standing there listening to his headphones, or people are discussing the next one.

My friend basically was done immediately, and I was soon overwhelmed by the crowd and lack of ability to see the exhibit in a reasonable way. I don’t really know of a better way to deal with this sort of exhibit, but it does make me sad that I couldn’t enjoy it properly, and I wonder how many other people are put off by things like this.

posted by neil at 11:54 pm
under daily tribulations,rambling  

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