Monday, September 8, 2008

the museum is in us all

Hey fellows, returning once more to the house that Boho built, here is the next addition of Jeff and my monumental epic to pomp and circumstance, "Museum." Come and stay with us; donate a little if you like; browse the store; speak with a docent; steal a work of art.


Hey guys, can I get you to come this way? Cool. Watch your steps. Oh no, that’s alright. That piece is actually meant to be activated by kinetic atmosphere. It’s a wind sock, really. What? Ha. No, I’m kidding. Of course. Oh yes, it’s all sacred.

Oh well, really, here we are at our next exhibit. It’s titled “Not so important people live here,” and it’s a photographic show of small homes, rutted roads, countryside, and other elements of underdeveloped places – the forgotten states if you will. The states aren’t named, of course – that would be cruel – but if you just follow along the contours of the photographs, you might be able to figure out the region.

The first photograph is a beaten house foundation and a chimney

standing erect in a prairie scene. There is a kitchen sink left lying

in the center of the torn down house. The next picture is two lovers

holding hands and standing on a snowy bridge. The third picture

focuses on a giant tire in the middle of a creek. ‘No survivors,’ is

written upon its façade. The fourth picture features a blue house

stood beside a tree. The name on the address says ‘Wilson.’ More

pictures prominently display mountains and roads, crosses and

window latches, women with dirty mouths, children kicking gutters,

and errant men in search of hats. The finale picture shows a rope

swing dangling over a lake.

Yes, it is romantic, isn’t it? The elements of the compositions – those that are not so meager, those that inherit and invest in preconceptions – are full and vibrant. It’s a little point of pride, actually, but I lived in an area featured in one of these photographs. I can’t tell which one, but – well, it’s a secret I long to keep. That’s the point, people. Secrets, of course. The great American pastime. I like to look over these photos and imagine a million maids and elementary teachers and garbage men trouncing about the pace of their lives. Would that they would have known about their ghostly presence in our midst, eh folks? Also, pay attention to the levels of light in each photo. The dimmer the picture, the more remote the location. Yes, it’s easy to discern what the artist meant – isolation, loneliness, sameness, proximity – but let’s go one further: harmony. Is it that each picture is balanced, or is it balanced in what is missing? We have lovers, an ersatz tire, a candelabra, a gazebo, a waterfall. Human achievement, the endeavor of our struggle and the epic failure of our existence, written large here. It does not spell god, but it isn’t far off, is it? What’s missing, I asked earlier: well, are any of you there in the pictures? Imagine if you were. Would you be here now? Where would you be? Think on that, I think, and explore. I’ll be waiting.

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