This is about an exhibition we happened upon at The Whitechapel Gallery this weekend. It wasn’t the main exhibition (called Adventures of the Black Square which also sounds interesting) but the free exhibition alongside, called ‘Monochrome Archive, 1997-2015’. It’s by scottish artist, David Batchelor and is a series of photographs he calls ‘Found Monochromes’ – white (and black) blank spaces found in Cities he’s in. Watch the video of him talking about how it started and why (http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/david-batchelor/). I love this project – it’s an area that interests me – what is art and what isn’t. As he says, “…Is there a boundary between art and non art, or is it always negotiable? Is it always moving and a grey area? I think that’s an interesting place to be.”
If you’re near Aldgate in East London before the 3rd May (2015), do nip in and see it but if you can’t, here’s a link to the Whitechapel Gallery site and to David’s other work:
Yes, you probably know what I’m talking about – there has been a big fuss online about a photo of a dress (http://www.wired.com/2015/02/science-one-agrees-color-dress/). The image in question is the one in the centre. Some people see a white and gold dress. Others, a black and blue one. I guess the reason this has been shared so many times is because the choices are so extreme and people are clearly in one camp or the other and can’t believe those that disagree. It’s not like we’re talking about one of those inbetween colours like an orangey red. I think it’s obviously white and gold but my partner insists it’s black and blue.
Colour has always been tricky which is probably why Pantone has been so successful. For those that don’t know, 50 years ago, a man called Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colour. They may be more commonly known for their ceramic mugs these days but don’t be fooled – it still is an important colour tool for designers across many industries.
While Pantone is a formula that ensures colours match, it doesn’t resolve how each of us sees colour. And we’ll never know. Isn’t that fascinating? Colour blindness and biology aside, there are so many variations in lighting conditions and now, monitor callibrations, we have even less control over what other people see. We can’t give up though. We’ll still spend hours choosing just the right shade of blue for that logo we’re working on. Well we wouldn’t want to live in a black and white world, would we.