There’s a lot of covert phone camera snapping at art exhibits. Cameras are almost never allowed (how could they sell postcards, otherwise?), but that doesn’t stop visitors from trying to get a picture of a work they want to look at again, later.
This is especially a problem in Italy, where there are more cellphones than people and text messages are used for everything from food price checks to flood alerts.
A recently-launched Samurai exhibit in Milan features some text-enabled works.
For the cost of a text message, exhibit organizers send you a picture of the work, plus a detailed description of it. In this case (and yes, that’s my battered Nokia above), there was more information provided with the texted image about the Elk-horned warrior from the Edo period than in the exhibit.
It’s also a better pic than you’d be able to take on the sly. You can download it from your phone as a 60KB image — and then send it as a postcard if you fancy.
Art is for the people. As long as the phones and cameras are not affecting the general viewing population, we should be able to enjoy the art in any manner we like.