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Exhibition Review: Now by Chantal Akerman

The Exhibition Review I am writing today is about Chantal Akerman. She was a belgian screenwriter, artist and film director who died october 5 2015. The exhibition Chantal Akerman can be seen today in the MOCA until april 14 on the second floor. The floor is occupied by 2 of her pieces, when entering the second floor you will be greeted by a projection on a screen of a young girl looking at herself in the mirror almost completely undressed. This piece is called In the Mirror made by Chantal in 2007 and it features this young girl in black and white examining herself, telling us what she sees about her body. She comments on her shape, size of her head and her breast, waist and butt with dissatisfaction. The girl shown is a beautiful young girl that has no reason to be judging herself so horribly and critically, but that is the purpose of this piece, the piece is the mirror we are seeing. We all do this in our lives and judge ourselves much too hard at times. In today's day and age we are surrounded by images or beauty, being fit, slim as well as attractive which puts pressure on all of us, especially young woman like the one on the screen. When first viewing the piece it may give some people a negative vibe, for myself I wanted to turn away, I've been in a similar place where I've been extremely unhappy with what I viewed in the mirror and to this day still deal with the judgment I give myself, thinking I will never look enough or I do not look good. In the end the piece is positive to me, it shows us what we do on a regular basis and makes us realize that we all do what this girl does. We all gather in front of this screen like we do a mirror.

On the other side of the same floor after viewing in the mirror you will find a large rectangle sized room. Without even entering the room you can hear loud noises, but they are unrecognizable, just a jumble of sounds. Moving into the room the noises get louder and more chaotic until you turn the corner and see 5 large flat screen tvs. The large tvs display the movement across different terrains at varying speeds. The sounds which were being heard before now sound much clearer, they sound like gunshots, birds, cars driving, thunder, bombs. Even though you hear these noises you see nothing that relates to them at all in the screens or the room. Besides the tvs, speakers and a bench the room is empty and entirely black. Being in the room emotes a sense of fear, panic, confusion and  tiredness. You begin to feel unsafe and maybe even claustrophobic if sat too long in the room. Everything in the room tells you to run but also convinces you to stay. This was the most enjoyable piece for me because of these feelings it gave me. I have never been made to feel such feelings of panic or fear from just a thought out piece of art and even though I was feeling these negative feelings I stayed for a while. The piece alone is worth going to the exhibition for.

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