UPDATE: I just realized Popkultuur changed their background song. It’s a disappointing development. Perhaps they encountered copyright issues. I recommend playing another song in the background while playing it in the classroom. 🙂

This video would be a hip doorway for students into the works and life of Louise Bourgeois. It’s not stuffy, boring, or academic. It makes the audience feel like the viewer at the museum, amid a bustling environment, staring and engaging the art and its hidden crevices. A bonus is that the The Cure song, “Close to Me” is playing in the background. It’s basically like a music video. 🙂

“The Nest”
Steel, 101 x 189 x 158 inches
Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Courtesy Louise Bourgeois archive

The collected works of French Artist Louise Bourgeois is currently on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

I went to this show, and slowly, as I spiraled up the Guggenheim architecture, began to connect with the art. Climbing towards the ceiling, I felt that I grew into an imaginary world with painted and shaped wood, smoothly carved marble, oily drawings that expressed a multitude of human feelings and experiences, and hanging pieces and cells with nooks and tunnels for hiding and maneuvering or snuggling.

Everyone experiences art uniquely, and takes away a piece of a fantasy place. Louise Bourgeois’s art has filled me with a chamber of thoughts and emotions that have been circulating throughout me, stretching me to wonder who I am as a woman, question what the contours of “letting go” is and means, and examine my inner tensions, varied personality, and desires.

What I particularly like about Bourgeois’s work is that it is not all pretty. It draws on the subconscious, our innermost selves- our underworlds. She was influenced by the Surrealists. I think her art may inspire students to create original art and allow their imaginations to wander, and through the process, come to understand themselves greater.

“Femme Volage (Fickle Woman)”
Painted wood, 72 x 17 1/2 x 13 inches
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Photo by Allan Fickelman
Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York

“Cell (Eyes and Mirrors)”
Marble, mirrors, steel and glass, 93 x 83 x 86 inches
Collection Tate Gallery, London
Photo by Peter Bellamy
Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York

Louise Bourgeois in 1990 with her marble sculpture ‘Eye to Eye’ (1970).
Photo by Raimon Ramis.