Places to Check Out this Summer: Museum Of Contemporary Art

Places to Check Out this Summer: Museum Of Contemporary Art

I will be totally honest: now that I am reaching the midway point of my summer break, I realize I have slacked quite a bit on the writing and editing. It was not intentional, but after giving myself time to recharge after the grueling endeavors of the last school year, I let my mind stay in relaxation mode longer than I should have. Sure, I have moments of inspiration written in the “Notes” section of my phone, but that is as far as most things have gotten so far this summer. I’ve gone through anger and regret with myself for allowing that to happen, but after reveling in these feelings longer than I should have, I finally decided that it was time for me to take some action.

Now, some of you might be wondering why I chose to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art to get myself over this writing hurdle. My response to that is, well, why not? The MCA houses work by artists who are actively creating art now. Surely placing myself in a space housing the creativity of the present was bound to get my own creativity sparking? If a poem can inspire an image, then who’s to say an image cannot inspire words? It also made sense for me given its location, and the fact that it’s open (and free) until 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays—not to mention Columbia students can enter for free on all other days with their school ID!

One particular exhibit caught my attention: Virgil Abloh’s “Figures of Speech.” For those of you who do not know who Virgil is, here is a quick run-down: he is a fashion designer and musician. Not only has Virgil worked with brands like Nike and Louis Vuitton, he’s also collaborated with high profile artists, most notably Kanye West. Oh, did I also mention he’s from Illinois?

Being the person I am, with my general enjoyment for constructing and deconstructing language, there was something intriguing about the exhibit being named “Figures of Speech.” Quite frankly, the name and my excitement for the exhibit lived up to my mind-projected hype. Below are just some of the pieces that either blew me away or got the poetic juices in my mind flowing again (or both!)

An enlarged version of Kanye West’s 2013 album Yeezus, originally designed by Virgil Abloh. Here is hoping one day one of my poems finds itself enlarged on poster size paper and framed in a museum.
One of the rooms that leads to Virgil’s artwork and Louis Vuitton clothing. My attempt to decipher this message and the purpose of the unlit letters not only got my mind to ease itself into writing mode, but also into critical thinking mode.
Virgil’s shoe designer collection. I stood in awe of this exhibit because the only thing I could think about is how much money each pair could potentially cost, and then I remembered that I was in grad school.
I could not help but connect with this exhibit. Although I am not exactly sure of Virgil’s intention, it got me thinking about how I relate to this city, both personally and politically.
“Grass grows greener in the graveyard.” This is an interesting quote my mind fixated on as I left the museum, as it plays with so many positive and negative connotations. I guess it’s up to the eye of the beholder to determine the meaning of this message.

You can learn more about Virgil Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” here.