This was going to be my first meeting with the GiT group. I expected to meet new people, some kind of guided tour and finding out how I would feel about further meetings with the group. What I experienced was beyond my expectations.
It was a very nice, sunny afternoon. I approached the museum and parked my bike. I had never been to the van Abbe before and I started looking with my eyes for the bar, the meeting point. I saw four people in a very nice terrace by the Dommel and one of them was “suspiciously” similar to that picture that was regularly coming in my mail box and that my brain associated to Carola. So, I started walking in that direction.
First thing I found was a luminous, welcoming, heartwarming smile: Carola’s. It was only the prelude of the delicious afternoon we spent together. First we had some drinks / food, while presenting ourselves (there was a couple of new people in the group, as myself). Then Daniel, or brilliant guide, came to welcome us and we had a small chat over the relevance and the operating mode of the van Abbe, before he introduced us in the very interesting world of modern art. And I have to say, Daniel made me for first time in my life, really appreciate modern art.
We started at a very cold, scary place, where you could face loneliness and purely yourself. You are there, alone, cold, just with yourself; how are you going to deal with it? What are you going to encounter in your inside to overcome this coldness, this loneliness? That was kind of the sensations you could feel by entering this place. Then Daniel explained this space was inspired in a bunker that the author encountered in the middle of a forest, where he dared to enter. It clearly made an impression on him. Impression that he was able to transfer to his spectators. And here is the magic. You are just in a regular day of your life, in a sunny small city where everything works, surrounded by a group of warm and nice people that you just met and someone, suddenly, puts you in a situation where you have to confront solitude and frostiness. Where you can make yourself questions about why or how. Questions that ultimately make you meet eyeball-to-eyeball human nature; and therefore humanize you. Here we go: ART. Only because Daniel was there, making the right questions, we could maximize this experience.
To make it short, I will try to summarize the rest of the afternoon. We went through the new experience of associating odors to paintings. So, one somehow disturbing landscape painted by Kandisky coupled very well to a spices-rich smell; I think I can remember the strong clove among them, giving this troubling touch that fitted so well with the dark colors used in the canvas. Instead, another aroma associated to a “just” blue painting made me float in my own universe, infinite, without barriers or boundaries. I was free for a couple of eternal, boundless seconds.
To finish this gratifying experience, we had the chance to use real art works to depict a concept with which Daniel challenged us: unsettling friendship. We worked in couples to represent this concept and HAD A LOT OF FUN WITH IT.