Jun 13, 2012
During the June 6 Lunchtime Art Talk, Public Engagement Curatorial Associate Elizabeth Cline talked to us about D’Ette Nogle’s project for Made in L.A.2012: a meditation bell that chimes within the Hammer’s courtyard every 20 minutes.
Elizabeth noted that Nogle’s project was inspired by lunchtime meditation sessions at the Hammer with UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC). These sessions end with a chiming of a meditation bell to call practitioners into the moment and mindfulness. Nogle’s chime, resonant throughout the outdoor spaces of the museum, has a similarly startling effect—calling us to momentary attention. Elizabeth also mentioned that Nogle discovered that her students (she also teaches Special Ed at Fairfax High School) found the traditionally Buddhist concept of mindfulness really resonant and appealing when she invited MARC into her classroom.
One of the most interesting parts of this talk was considering the role of the museum within communities and in exploring cultural practices. Nogle’s meditation bell seems to straddle an interesting mix of worlds. As Elizabeth mentioned, while artwork became rapidly secularized and moved away from religious traditions during the 20th century, the museum has evolved to become a space for cultural practice, community, and gathering rather than a static institution which exists solely to house great works.
Larry and Sharon Held, who stayed on after the talk to listen for the next chiming of Nogle’s bell.
-Salonee Bhaman, Communications & Public Engagement Getty Multicultural Intern
Lunchtime Art Talks take place every Wednesday at 12:30pm. The Hammer’s curatorial department leads free 15-minute talks about works of art currently on view or from museum collections. Visit www.hammer.ucla.edu for a schedule of upcoming talks.
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