Final Blog Post: Ackland Museum


The piece that most interested me from the Ackland Museum was The Batture Ritual.  The video showed the beauty of life by the water and how beautiful water itself can be.  By Jeff Whetstone’s use of sound and a video instead of a picture, the artwork was able to capture the activity in the area and not just what was perceived and interpreted by someone in a specific moment of time.

In the other artwork dealing with water that we viewed, what was important was the people, the location, or the object and not the nature as a whole.  By Whetstone filming the Mississippi River we are able to focus on all the uses that the river can serve for the people as well as capturing how the beings other than humans are participating in the area.  Due to the cruise ship that passed by the camera, we can tell that the Mississippi River is used for travel as well as it is a resource for food as we see when the man by the water’s edge was fishing. The fishing scene proved that there were living things in the water and by including sound, such as the noises produced by the crickets, we could tell there are more animals nearby.  This adds more depth to the art as you have used two senses to receive the work, giving a better idea of what is happening in the video beyond what you can see, which is more than you can acquire from a picture.

My favorite aspect of the work is the fact that Mr. Whetstone decided to take multiple different videos of the Mississippi River.  He could have much easier taken a single photo which could have captured the image of the man by the water as the ship passed by. However, from the video we can take much more from the setting than we could from an image.  We get to see life in action. The moving, unscripted behaviors of the animals and people found in the video give us a true view of the culture and the beauty of the life in the Mississippi River Batture.