I’m confused by the different reviews of The Art of Videogames at the Smithsonian. Should we really be alright with an exhibition in easy mode? Seth Shiesel’s “An Exhibition in Easy Mode,” from the New York Times summarizes what went wrong,
“The Art of Video Games” is a sanitized, uncontroversial and rigorously unprovocative introduction to the basic concepts of video games — which was, quite clearly, the point.”
I understand that the exhibition was geared to new audiences and that Melissinos and Broun, organizers of the exhibition, “tried to strip from the show any strong point of view or deep sense of curatorial perspective and interpretation.” But I am not okay with the results.
The exhibition, without curatorial involvement or being turned up to normal mode, comes off as hyped vindication. This approach worked for some and don’t get me wrong thats a good thing. ARTINFO, does point out large crowds and cosplayers. For me the whole thing reads as Super Mario Bros. on a projector or under glass for a few months to let people proclaim “Ebert was wrong!” for the millionth time. It feels like the milking of a temporary high.
I was excited for the exhibition but the reviews make it hard to find my place in the exhibition. It might be better to wait and see the Nam June Paik show instead.