The DePaul Art Museum, that cool building right next to the Fullerton station, has closed its big glass doors for a few weeks in order to assemble its spring exhibits. The exhibits range from a series of historical photographs entitled Someday, Chicago by Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto, to performance art by Beverly Fresh, to a myriad of other works. Although each exhibit is both wonderfully and artistically poignant, tragically they seem to be operating under the assumption that art has any meaning in the face of the pointlessness of our existence.
We reached out to Jacob Mesdial, curator of the DePaul Art Museum, for comment. “Yes, I know that the universe is utter chaos and the sum of the human experience is like a speck of dust before the vastness of space,” he said. “But I really think the art we’re putting on display this spring will really do some good, despite the crushing meaninglessness of the human experience.”
The Black Sheep understands that the human form is an empty sack of meat that returns to ashes when we die and that therefore, nothing in our brief, flickering lives has any point at all. However, it seems that the staff of the DePaul Art Museum has yet to grasp the bleak truth of our reality. We only hope that they understand the pointlessness of our existence, and, by extension, the meaninglessness of art itself.
The fans of the DePaul Art Museum also seem to mistakenly believe that art fulfills some sort of hole in humanity’s identity, as though that hole has any meaning either.
According to one Rachel Hiddenbosm, “I understand that there is no God inherent in the unfeeling void of creation and that our world operates without true structure or purpose, hollow, bare, and blank. But I think there is meaning where we create it ourselves, in art, science, and high culture. Perhaps there is no shame in turning our backs on nihilism and making some little joy when and where we can.” If only poor Rachel could tell how wrong she was.
Beverly Fresh, renowned performance artist, will be headlining at the DePaul Art Museum as part of their spring exhibit, doing performances on the incongruities, social rituals, and archetypes of the rural Midwest. His immersive exhibits are known for taking museum-goers through forgotten elements of American culture, and will hopefully draw laughter, merriment, and artistic contemplation from people.
Unfortunately, laughter and its artificial joy is nothing more than humanity’s pathetic attempt to drown out the encroaching silence of inevitable death; count on this exhibit being as useless before our uncaring reality as the rest of them.
It seems that, despite the infinite void that is all creation, the DePaul Art Museum is going forward with their spring exhibition. Perhaps there is something to the little meaning humanity creates, or perhaps everyone who enjoys anything is simply creating something from nothing, grasping at straws, wasting precious time before we return to the earth. Who knows?