Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Difference and Desire

This is a picture of a wrapper from a candy I ate in DC. Why save a candy wrapper? And, why take a picture of that wrapper?

It was part of an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. There were 175 pounds of candy poured into the corner of one of the rooms. The weight symbolized the artist's lover who died of AIDS. Each person was asked to take a candy from the pile. The artist hoped that by the end of the exhibit, all of the candy would be eaten; his lover gone, again. I was hit pretty hard by it. The act of eating a body is familiar-- hello, every Sunday of my young life-- but that body is always renewing, coming back again and again to be eaten by the faithful. This body was not. This "body" was also wrapped in colorful plastic foil.

Walking around outside the building I saw that a few people had dropped their wrappers on the sidewalk. It was strange to see them discarded like that. Justin suggested that we drop them on the floor of the museum, next to the pile of candy. I thought this would be the best option, the husk and the body, the consumption a cycle. I ended up pocketing it instead. What are the final implications of this interactive piece? Each person participates in the grief of the artist and in the larger grief of AIDS.

That is, unless you find it funny, like two ladies who were just happy to eat the candy. Which is to say, it was a success. People took what they wanted from it-- but they still interacted with everyone else who also took a piece.

I also enjoyed a photograph of a man holding a canary on his fingers, raised over his head. Around him were three cats, all looking up at the bird, wanting it. It was shot in a hazy, overexposed kind of way that was both dreamy and a little frightening.

How about a monocle and some dachshunds? Weimer- sexy? Yes, that's a shiver.

Loved how the naked men looked so much happier than when clothed-- especially O'Hara!

We drove around, guided by a pizza slice. We shook our bodies to mash-ups. We admired a bass-player-- funk, please, funk!-- we drank beer and talked movies. All in all, a good evening in DC.

Now I'm typing by a window, looking at a bell tower and feeling so incredibly, incredibly



mattnrea said...

Hey Kate! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Kate said...

Thanks, Matt! I did. Hope you had a good day, too.