museums

Surprise! Doing Things Alone Can Be Fun

A recent study mentioned in Slate (via Science of Us) suggests that many people, especially women, are afraid to take part in certain leisure activities alone, not just because of safety concerns but because of a psychological hang-up that others will pity them. This fear that others will think “that they could not find friends to accompany them” even extends to an activity which I think requires some alone time: museum-going.

Students gathered around "Grapes" by Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei: According to What? [Photos]

Students gathered around "Grapes" by Ai Weiwei

Students gathered around “Grapes” by Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s first major exhibit in the United States – “According to What?” – opened a few weeks ago at DC’s Hirshhorn Museum. Taking up almost the entire 2nd floor of the museum as well as a couple of spaces on the ground floor and third floor, According to What? is extensive and impressive. I instantly “got” the message that Weiwei was trying to convey. His exhibit is a commentary on the modern overtaking the ancient, of might overtaking right. I’ve described the exhibit in this article on my USA Travel site and that piece also includes links to more scholarly reviews of the exhibit than I can provide.