We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Jan 15, 2007

Mass MOCA, and Our Own Performance Piece

Sunday Sarah, a friend of hers who came up for the weekend, and I went to Mass MOCA in the rain. I enjoyed Ahistoric very much.

"At a time when the very idea of history seems under siege - by governments grown forgetful, by media which assaults already shortened attention spans with ever tighter news cycles, and by historians themselves, who are provocatively re-interpreting long held truths - artists are exploiting the material of history to shape and give new meaning to the present. Ahistoric Occasion spotlights the growing interest in historic reenactment and revision in contemporary art.

Artists include: Paul Chan, Jeremy Deller, Peggy Diggs, Felix Gmelin, Kerry James Marshall, Trevor Paglen, Greta Pratt, Dario Robleto, Nebojsa Seric-Shoba, Allison Smith, and Yinka Shonibare"

The other exhibit was a retrospective of Huang Yong Ping's work. Like most retrospectives that I have seen I am always a little overwhelmed by the quantity of work from one perspective. Mass Moca was an appropriate museum to house the exhibit it because the amount of large works in the show. Of all the pieces the Traveling Guide for 2000-2042 and his 108 Cards were the pieces I felt most connected to. The House of Oracles, both the name of the exhibit and a specific piece gave me a different sort of thrill. The piece included a shepard's tent as it's location and I fell in love with the idea of a studio in a canvas building; where the light and the weather is both immediate and kept away. While I enjoyed some of his pieces I felt as though I was looking a remnants from a lot of performance pieces.

We headed back to the house in Plainfied for my father's ribs. Iris, Richard, AManda and Margret had babysat Alder all day while we were at the museum and when we arrived he was asleep on the floor in the midst of all the noise.

Our neighbor Irene and her son David came over to meet Alder, I haven't seen Irene in a few years and David in almost twenty. I remember when his son Daniel was born, now he's married. I forget how much I love talking with Irene. When we usually come to visit I'm too rushed to sit with her and talk. She always tells the most interesting of stories about growing up in ALabama and her life as an opera singer. I need to remember to visit her when we are back in April.

Eating ribs at my dad's house is a performance piece of it's own. The meal always starts with people trying to be polite about how they are eating. It's a battle of wills quickly won by the ribs themselves. Those who attempted to use silverware to eat them quickly revert to the finger method. As the meal comes to an end everyone takes their bones to the fire place and throws them in and we watch them burn.

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