Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keep It Local: Out of the Ordinary at the Hirshhorn

Kane is nursing the last few days of a cold (oy, this winter) and no one's been getting much sleep, so momma decided we could extend our holiday weekend another day and all play hookey (I've now started calling mom "momma"). Well, not daddy. Daddy headed out of town for work. And accidentally took mom's keys with him, including her car keys. A nice little surprise she discovered as we were trying to leave to head down to the Hirshhorn to check out the new "Out of the Ordinary" exhibit.

After eventually locating a spare set of house keys (there is no spare car key as they cost some ridiculous amount of money, which mom knows because she lost hers before), we headed out to the metro. In the rain. Without a stroller for me. Because the stroller is in the locked car, obvi.

We were still optimistic and perked up when we came above ground at L'enfant and eyed up the food trucks. We've been on a serious mission to track down the Dangerously Delicious Pies food truck -- our last attempt found a parked, running truck that appeared to have no one inside it? No pie today, but we spotted a good selection for lunch. Now, on to the art.

I've been to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit several times with momma (check out our previous post here), but Kaney had never been. We showed him the Zodiac heads first and then headed inside. And we could tell almost immediately it wasn't going to be the best day -- it was crowded, Kane clearly still didn't feel good, and it had been a while since momma had had both of us in an art museum by herself. We actually listened very well and sat carefully outside the lines roping off the sculpture. And we were still warned by the security guards not to lean over them, which we hadn't been. Being an old pro, I rolled my eyes and then laughed as an adult walked right into the rope around the tea leaf exhibit and actually jacked it up a bit. Then I stopped laughing as I quickly realized it really wasn't funny (OK, we might have still been smirking. but we moved on).

We were both happy when we came to what we call the Hirshhorn's chill room -- a long couch along a long line of windows overlooking the Mall, which was overcast and soaked. We sat and told stories for a while and then headed all the way to the basement floor to see "Out of the Ordinary." It's a small exhibit of works in the Hirshhorn's collection that make art out of (shocker) ordinary items. There was a big tour group going through the exhibit and we had a hard time checking things out. But we really came to see one piece: Robert Gober's oversized stick of butter. In our house, a stick of real butter means one of two things: (1) mom is baking; or (2) we are getting butter noodles. Both of which we consider to be incredibly good news, so mom thought we'd get a kick out of the artwork. We did. But we didn't like the crowds, so we moved on.

Momma also wanted to show Kane the piece "Ser y Durar [To Be and To Last]" by Democracia, a Madrid-based artist collective. We've seen the work several times before, which is part of the Hirshhorn's Black Box moving-image art space and, while it's a little dark (in mood and subject matter, not just in that it is shown in a blackened room), momma thought Kane would like the work's local parkour street artists -- it's kind of right up his alley. And he did. He was sort of silently stunned by them. We both sat quietly until almost the end and then I started asking questions about the cemetery in which they were performing.

"Out of the Ordinary" is at the Hirshhorn until May 19th. I don't know that we'd make a special trip down there just to see that, but if you want to see the Weiwei exhibit before it leaves on February 24th, stop down in the basement to see that stick of butter. The Black Box is also located on the basement level and Democracia's piece is on exhibit until May 19th.

And, btw, we hit up the Halal Grill food truck on the way back for some seriously delish gyro over rice. It was still raining, so we had to metro it home with us. But it was still super yummy.

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