“Connecting Cultures” at the Brooklyn Museum

By Wanxian Lin and Skye Ann

By walking just a few steps at the Brooklyn Museum, visitors immediately enter and experience another part of the world. “Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn” seamlessly captures the historical significance of the artifacts and works on display.

With so many different categories right beside one another visitors are challenged to find connections between pieces from all over the world and from many different time periods, in one exhibit in Brooklyn, New York.

This exhibit is truly unique. A sculpture titled “Avarice” depicts an Aztec Calendar with consumer products such as soft drinks, candy, toothpaste, spark plugs, and pharmaceuticals on its surface.

One visitor noted that “Avarice”, like other things in the exhibit, “takes things from all different cultures and Americanizes them.”

The “Coffin in the Form of A Sneaker” is a symbol of a transition throughout time. The well-known Nike sneaker is meant to represent status and modernity. The coffin, on the other hand, symbolizes convention. This artistic juxtaposition represents a balance between tradition and modernity.

As visitors venture deeper into the exhibit, nearing the end of the journey, they can see their reflections as they pass a series of mirrors that are hung on the walls. Seeing oneself beside the vast collection of culture ties all the loose ends of this exhibit, connecting the modern-day individual to the history the pieces represent.

The purpose of the exhibit is to allow people of one community to learn more about the cultures that surround locally and globally. Displaying these works in Brooklyn is especially apt, considering the diverse nature of the borough.

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