Week 2 Blog Post

Week 2 Blog Post (wasn’t enrolled in the class yet)

This week we read Stephen’s Greenblatt’s “Resonance and Wonder” which discusses the way museums choose to display their art and how that effects the viewers’ perception and understanding of the art pieces themselves. He describes “resonance” to be the power within an art piece to “evoke in the viewer the complex, dynamic culture forces from which it has emerged”, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. Meanwhile, “wonder” is described as a different power, the ability of the art piece to stop the viewer in their tracks, “[conveying] an arresting sense of uniqueness, [and evoking] an exalted attention”. He describes how a successful exhibition has both these qualities of resonance and wonder, and explains how wonder could be seen as more important than resonance. He explains that wonder is more important in an art piece because it is what initially draws in the viewer. If there is wonder and the object can have the power to stop someone in their tracks, they are more likely to then investigate its background and history of the object (or its resonance)…so in a way wonder can lead to resonance.

I thought this concept was really interesting – even though I have frequented museums and examined art pieces – I have never really thought about the concepts behind the actual exhibition. I noticed in myself that if I experience “wonder” in an art piece, I usually will take the time to learn more about it as well and it usually leaves me with a longer lasting impression, than those art pieces that I do not find “wonder” in.

What I thought would be interesting questions to explore then is what creates “wonder” – the placement, the size, the surroundings, the geographical location of the museum itself? For this concept I decided to explore an exhibit in Hong Kong for Valentine’s Day. For this Valentine’s Day, a company called Pancom decided to create an exhibit that included 25,000 LED lit up roses.

hong kong

I thought this concept was really interesting because they chose to put this exhibit into a public space, and also the amount of roses really creates a sense of “wonder”. After seeing a video of this exhibit, I read up on it learning about its “resonance”, and I felt that common citizens too would investigate why there is such an exhibit in the middle of Hong Kong. I thought this was a good example of how wonder could lead to resonance.