|The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago|
The earlier stages of the archeological process involve pre-field investigation, survey, and excavation. In The Way of Shovel exhibit, one of the artists, Derek Brunen, created a three-part installation, Plot (Tombstone 2013), which was presented in video, showing the artist digging his own grave in a cemetery located in his hometown. The artist uses the tool – the shovel – as a metaphor in engaging greater philosophical questions about the meaning of life, death, labor, fate, and the relationship between self and the world. When seeing the video of the artist’s performative, repetitive, and meditative movements of digging, I thought of it as a manifestation of life as a perpetual process of learning and making connection with our world. We learn through questioning, doing, and digging deeper, then repeating this.
|Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, 2013. |
The Museum of Contemporary Art.
In 2013, I had written two posts relating my exploration of archaeology: From Art to Archaeology and Encountering a Mover-Shaker: Gertrude Bell. In this new year, I look forward to sharing more on my journey exploring the archaeology – perhaps like the archaeologists exploring and excavating their field, and maybe like the artists “shoveling” our history. As a museum educator, our museum collection will be my fieldwork where I can discover ways to engage our audience such as families, students, teachers, and the public, and help facilitate your inquiries about our history.