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Hirshhorn Museum Series Offers Rare Glimpse of Artists at Home


Hirshhorn Museum Series Offers Rare Glimpse of Artists at Home

#HirshhornInsideOut features short, poignant artist diaries

Coronavirus has shut millions of people in their homes the world over. But a recent project of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, is showing that the human spirit cannot be contained within walls.

With the museum’s doors now shuttered for almost two months, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has actually expanded its reach. Through a project called #HirshhornInsideOut, the museum is sharing their artists’ voices and their artists’ projects with the world.

Hirshhorn Museum’s #HirshhornInsideOut

The staff at the Hirshhorn Museum has worked harder than ever to showcase art. In April 2020, the museum invited more than 100 artists to take part in the Hirshhorn Artist Diaries. The project will serve as a historical archive of artists around the world.

Project #HirshhornInsideOut also includes Hirshhorn-inspired artistic activities ideas for both kids and adults. It’s all a chance to get everyone to work their creative muscles while at home.

Artists’ Thoughts

Many people are using this time to reflect on what matters most in life.

Tokyo artist Mariko Mori says while holding a diamond-shaped crystal sculpture “For me, I am making a quiet, peaceful mind.”

Her serene state of mind and the simple white motif in her video is in stark contrast to the chaotic work of Tony Oursler. He begins his video showing the rain outside his window. Then, he steps to his desk to show partially finished paintings, writings, and musical works. It appears in disarray, but may be organized in Oursler’s world.

“I know we’ve all been isolated and shut down,” he says. “But you can’t shut down the creative engine of the arts community.”

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Others are focusing on the positive things that can come out of being forced to slow down from our frenetic pace.

Portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum filmed herself in her kitchen in Los Angeles, with a handful of her colorful portraits on display on the wall behind her. “I think something positive is going to come out of it, where we really notice the importance of care workers…”

Still others express their frustration at how people who are different are still facing barriers to inclusion. As deaf artist Christine Sun Kim signs, “My screen time has gone up an estimated 5000%, and I am saddened to see so many new posts, live videos, virtual tours, with no captions.” Accessibility in online content is an issue for the deaf community, but so easily fixed if people simply take a few minutes to caption their content.

The New Normal

It will take time for the world to get back to “normal.” And it may never return to quite the way it was before. But with everyone doing their part, perhaps we can make the world a kinder, more inclusive world than it was before. By sharing different artist’s perspectives, through the Hirshhorn Artist Diaries, the Hirshhorn Museum is doing their part to help.

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