It seems that shortly Museums will be opened…people are anxious to ”go back to normal” as soon as possible, although, what it supposes “normality”? Visiting tourist places is different from visiting places for art and it seems that the combination of both creates an anachronic approach to the best source of inspiration and serenity: art. Since traveling becomes a more and more accessible crowd of people visit historical sites on a massive and somehow dangerous way for their safety of the places. Truly jewels of art submitted to the demagogy of massive visits without the logical expectation of enjoying through the eyes of contemplation, learning, and search for inspiration but rather an absurd accumulation of photos with no other goal rather than adding a new place to a long list of travel destinies. Photos that will end in an Instagram or Facebook account as thousands more around the world, without perceiving a clear lesson after that visit that results, simply on growth, personal and professional. That is precisely the goal: absorbing the magical power of art and get into the secret of how they survive through centuries and is there, just for our selfish purpose of feeling the need to be part of that particular history that each work holds eternally.
One of the aspects that I especially enjoy is to know the story of each piece, sometimes it represents sacrifices as I need to focus just in a few ones and not full attention of the complete collection, but is worthy. The loneliness of that moment is the real magic, that makes us being the last part of that unique story that stands firmly behind each work art. The quality of our attitude is key, although we usually think in terms of “quantity” instead of “quality” also for the visit in itself. Collections, paintings, sculptures, concerts, etc., the quality is missing in terms of the desired serenity, instead, we face overcrowd places out of the correct sensibility. It is as important to preserve art treasures to protect the spirit of those places privileged with their presence.
Unfortunately the “code quantity” always goes beyond: our private collection of looking for more and more pieces of art that enrich our feeling of fulfilment.
Nowadays, within COVID19 we realized that we do not even need to move from our homes to feed our souls with art., changing our conception –misconception- that we need a physical approach to truly be submerged in the enriched world of art. Operas, Museums, Historical sites, including a visit to Egyptian Heritage Sites, -and the 5000-year-old tomb of Meresankh III- are there to feed our curiosity.
It was not until I visited the Vatican that I truly realised the need for privacy, silence, and discretion to get inspired and enjoy it to the point that sometimes it prevents me to visit other places of art that have become just one more tourist spot.
Visiting the Vatican Museums supposes thousands of tourists eager to take photos rather than looking for art, feeding their curiosity rather than their souls. Eating, talking loudly, taking photos inside the Sistine Chapel looking more as part of a market party rather than a place of contemplation in silence and respect. While I gradually start feeling dizzy –emotional and physically- looking up to the high ceiling, most of the people become just another “security issue” violating all possible rules and without any empathy to the unique work of art that looks much more impressive also for the size of its figures. Exactly the invert idea that I experimented when visited “La Gioconda” in The Louvre, Paris, that its small size and deep glance follow each observer, not before overcoming the struggle of a chaotic audience.
Both were opportunities to learn and feel art just as they are, with and for you, however, it doesn’t come alone, only when you get rid of the noisy atmosphere that surrounded you. A moment for reflection of centuries of art, glory, and tragedy of the extraordinary power of humans to use intellectual and passion skills, instead I was facing my struggle to keep the momentum despite a hungry and indifferent audience that just do not care and we’re there to satisfy a blind curiosity to traditional places and not to uplifting themselves by art.
There is a lack of compassion towards art, as a parallel to the current state of lack of empathy and solidarity. The way we dress, speak –the volume of your voice- is as important as our feeling of art. Attitude to visit places with history should be a pre-condition to visit them. Respecting them is a way to honor and preserve them. It is for all these reasons that I am not sure if “going back to normal” is what we need but an opportunity to change and go to normal –not necessary back- under new rules. Simply going back is not enough to reach the essence of art: the ancient passion for elegance –not solemnity-, for respect –not submission-, for good manners –not fake modern gestures-, for inspiration –not a vague demonstration of a pseudo cosmopolitan life-.
The universal feeling towards art involves the wealth of inspiration as a driver of enlightened ideas that compromise a personal appetite for learning not for traveling, for absorbing their message, not to starring/listening at it, for flourishing not perishing by the futility of a “one more visit”.
For feeding our souls we need to have an attitude. Feeling art…