In my search for online exhibitions with compelling presentations and content, I have recently become apprised of three shows that take advantage of the digital medium to display words and images (only one show contains sounds in these examples) in ways that I wouldn’t quite be able to experience IRL. They do all share a basic approach: to use visual and historical examinations of an object or objects to discuss how it has come to be and how the forces that acted upon it might resonate in our own current moment.
* * *
The Getty (a wide institutional umbrella that includes a research institute, foundation, museum, a trust, and a program arm) recently launched on the getty.edu site, Mesopotamia, which looks closely and deeply at selected pieces from an exhibition formerly at the Getty Villa. Once I land on the page, I’m given the show’s title like the grand introduction of a Metro Goldwyn Mayer film. Then the action becomes more cinematic as I follow the directions to scroll down. The first image is an extreme closeup of “Panel with a Striding Lion” (605–562 BCE) made of glazed ceramic. As I continue to scroll, the camera seemingly pulls back to reveal the entire panel and I see the open-mouthed cat striding forward, the tawny color of his mane still visible. Popup text windows tell me, for example:
Screenshot of “Panel with a Striding Lion” (605–562 BCE) in the exhibition Mesopotamia via the…