Saturday, April 26, 2008

Moderna and Warhol

If you live in Stockholm or will be traveling to Stockholm before May 5th, you must visit Moderna Museet (Stockholm’s modern art museum). The Andy Warhol exhibit alone is worth the admission fee. You will smile. You might laugh. It’s hard not to.

The Warhol exhibit "Other voices, Other Rooms," showcases clips of 19 of his most famous films from the 1960’s, including Sleep, Screen Tests, The Chelsea Girls and Kitchen. You walk in and are captivated by the scene of a man smoking a cigar in ways you wouldn't imagine, which you just have to see to understand. Some of the images poke fun at the mundane and social behavior, others address identity and voyeurism (including the wall full of Marilyn Monroes).

Highlights beyond the Warhol exhibit include a bullet proof evening dress. Dorothea Tanning’s oil painting “Insomnias,” a chaotic scene from 1957 involving children and dogs, shows you, according to the critics, "raw energy, with vibrant hues and luminosity." Nils von Dardel’s The Dying Dandy tells the story of "desire, anxiety and death," with shimmering hues. Surrealist Salvador Dali’s “The Enigma of Wilhelm Tell” turns your head as certain body parts are found in distorted/gigantic proportions. Get entranced by the tropical dream scene of “Moroccan Landscape” by Henry Matisse.

End your museum tour with a visit to the Video Corridor. At first, I couldn't see the appeal. You walk into this dark room where a light show plays on the wall. As soon as you sink into the cushy seats and hear the accompanying thumping, deep house music and let yourself float away into the moment, you understand why this is the perfect way to end you museum visit. You fall into a deep relaxation.

The Warhol exhibit ends May 4th. If you can’t make it to Moderna in May, stop by on Sweden’s National Day, June 6th, when the admission fee will be the same as when the museum opened 50 years ago. On that day, you will pay just 1 SEK to get in.

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