I recently went to Oslo. I had been looking forward to see Edvard Munch’s ‘Scream’ ever since I had booked my tickets to fly to Norway. I have a real connection to the painting. I have had this picture on my bedroom wall since I was a child. Yes, even as a child I was something of a weird one. I had gone to the Munch Museum with high anticipation, but that had turned sour when I had learned the exhibition had been moved to the National Gallery. No worries, I could still see some of my other favorites.
The next day I had set out to see the ‘Scream’ and many others. The National Gallery is quite central in Oslo and it had taken almost no time to reach it. It was a weekend and the tickets were free. After putting away my belongings in a locker I made my way hastily to see the ‘Scream’. I didn’t care about all the other wonders inside the National Museum. I wanted to see Munch and only Munch at that moment the ‘Scream’. Walking through the second floor there were a good amount of people, not too few to say there were none and not too many to say they was too much, but just enough to avoid making eye contact with a whole group of people wondering if they can touch the painting.
Finally, here I was, in the same room as the ‘Scream’. Very few things get my heart racing, but waiting to see the ‘Scream’ was making me shake almost. Now, I am close to it. All that is between me and this marvel is a crowd of people. Maybe only 9 or 10 people, but I can wait. I waited and waited until they left, not paying attention to them. I was now looking at the ‘Scream’. I had seen a black and white version on my wall for almost 17 years. Now I got to see one of the originals. My heart stopped racing and I was relaxed. Perplexed really.
All that ended as soon as the next herd came to take their pictures. After all, if they don’t have pictures, how can people know they actually were there. Can’t enjoy it without a picture right? Then they began to recreate the ‘Scream’ making silly gestures with selfies and the like whilst looking on that other people had noticed.
Instead of waiting for them to pass, I knew the feeling had passed and made my way through Munch’s other works. Everything now was utterly boring. The allure was gone, it was time to go.So now I look upon my own black and white framed ‘Scream’ and thank it. At least at home I have my own ‘Scream’. No one to post for a selfie. No one to take it’s allure away. Well except me, but at least that can be my decision. For the most part people tend to tell me i am acting a bit picky. I agree with them. I am picky, especially when it comes to something i want to enjoy. Hence i do not go to the cinema for films i know i want to see. I also do no go to crowded nightclubs or bars because i personally find the idea of having to shout a conversation utterly boring. I guess seeing the Scream was a novelty than it was an experience and that is what tourism is really.