What a strange, funny word, invigilating. It sounds slightly aggressive, like “violating”. Or maybe it reminds me of the word “vigorous”. In any case, it somehow has rather unpleasant connotations for me. Memories of past exams with the invigilating dragons walking through the narrow aisles, breathing down our necks and the principal invigilator announcing sternly over the loudspeakers “NO talking!”
And invigilating yourself is not much better than being invigilated. While Relentless Melt is being hosted in Farmleigh’s Motorhouse, the participating photographers are taking turns to watch the exhibition at the weekends. It was my turn on Sunday. And while I was undecided between blending into the background in order to let the visitors have the freedom to enjoy the photography and on the other hand exuding strict authority to make sure everyone behaves properly while in the space, it gave me the opportunity to make some social observations.
It is quite interesting how some people behave in public spaces where art is shown. While the youngest visitors obviously do not feel any restraint, some grown-ups seem to perceive it as a “Temple of Art” in which you may not raise your voice and where you can only whisper. Some people walked into the door with obvious curiosity – only to turn directly back. Is our photography not good enough for you???
Others, again, feel no barrier between themselves and the artwork at all – which manifests itself in plenty of greasy fingerprints on frames and prints. Big no-no, people! And the perpetrators are not necessarily the children. Even some adults do not seem to feel any boundary – or at least a sense of respectful distance that might keep you from touching everything that you see.
Oh *sigh*, I come across a bit high-brow here. I am all for art coming to the masses. But please respect that there may be other people interested in seeing an exhibition after you and hence would appreciate looking at the exhibits in acceptable condition…
Sermon over. Sorry.