My first student conversation was with two first-year students like myself. I met Steven and Rachel outside of the exhibit room, and what started off as awkward glances and eye-contact lead to an interesting conversation about the German Wiener. The conversation started off with awkward introductions, talking about where we were from, our majors, and our interest in art. Rachel and I found common ground in that we both had no knowledge in art and all if it’s deeper and hidden meanings. Steven, however, had some intellect in the subject and lead us to several different art pieces. The first, and my favorite, being the “German Wiener”, depicting a German war submarine going head-to-head against a hot dog against a rainbow background. At first, the piece seemed to be a submarine and hotdog fighting. After some discussion with Steven, however, I discovered that the piece had a deeper meaning. I also simultaneously discovered that I have a very shallow and ignorant mind when it comes to art. Steven explained that the submarine was a German War U-Boat, and that combined with the hot dog, was supposed to depict the “German Wiener”, and the the rainbow background was supposed to be a debate of homosexuality. I would have never gotten any of this from a picture of a hotdog and a submarine, and I wonder if I will ever have an abstract mind when it comes to art.
After looking at the “German Wiener” for a pretty prolonged amount of time, we scanned the rest of the art gallery together and made some comments at a few of the pieces. I came across one piece that I found extremely ridiculous and questioned how it could even be passed as art, and Steven made a comment that the ability of an artist can sometimes take things that are so not artful and turn it into art. This is the one comment that stuck out to me throughout the entire conversation. After we were done looking through the gallery, we went back outside and talked idly about several random things. I learned that Steven was working on a movie and that Rachel was a commuter. The most important thing I learned from the conversation, however, was not something anyone said. I think the most important thing I learned from this student conversation was that art is subjective, and what seems at first glance to be something unimportant and meaningless, actually has a much deeper meaning to be discovered as long as you try to discover it. What was supposed to be a student interview turned out to be a lesson in art for me and also helped me meet a few new friends.