Last weekend, Evan, my friend Laura and I went to the Hammer museum to see “What Manner of Person Art Thou” and the other exhibits. Though the Hammer is a small museum, it has some really wonderful works and frequently changing exhibits.
We started with the Francesca Gabbiani-curated collection of images that have to do with witchcraft, sorcery and the darker side of life. In a room filled with mostly old etching and prints, though also including some more modern ones, we were really delighted by the bizarre elements we found in many of the pieces, especially the extremely strange Pieter van der Heyden works from the 1500s.
There was also a neat portrait exhibit called “Other People,” which had a wide range of mostly contemporary portraiture. My favorite piece was a collection of baseball card style photos of baseball photographers. Of course, they were all in baseball poses and had baseball props, but were all in their normal clothes.
The real reason we went to the museum, though, was to see Erin Cosgrove’s animated film, “What Manner of Person Art Thou.” It was shown in a very small room, with just two couches and some chairs in the back. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but the film was quite funny, though a bit long. It followed two men from a religious sect, whose families had died, trying to find any other descendants to bring back to their community. They’re sorely disappointed by what they find out in the world, from pro-anorexia groups to dating shows. With each relative they meet, their journey becomes more absurd and more horrifying.
The film is only playing until tomorrow, but it’s worth checking out, as are the other exhibits.