momebie: (Inception JGL alone)
[personal profile] momebie
Today I took off work and spent some time at the Boston Museum of Fine Art. It was a pretty great day. I wandered and looked at beautiful things and wrote today's poem for the PAD. On an average day I wake up wondering why I waste my time at work when there's so much more fulfilling stuff to see and do elsewhere, but I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be worse. Art hangover, if ya knowwhatimean.

There's a collection there by the contemporary artist Shinique Smith. I find her work incredibly charming, which I'm sure comes off as more derogatory than I mean it to. It's that mixture of collage and texture and bright colors presented in a way which makes the mundane, static nature of every day clothing into something dynamic. Included in the installation is a piece called Breath & Line, which consists of a room of mirrors writ large with calligraphic graffiti.

I like to put my nose right up to the art. I like to study the texture. And while I'm sure there's a way to view Breath & Line without also viewing yourself--several groups of people came in while I was there, hovered at the entryway to look around, and then went out again--there's not a chance I was going to view it that way. So I saw myself. And I saw the interruption of the thick black lines clashing across a familiar image. It made me think about selfie culture and how most of my favorite art works in opposition to my senses and if it's possible to observe something without leaving a part of yourself behind in the observation. Like we're just leaving opalescent bread crumb trails through time in the hopes that one day we'll be able to follow them back to the way we were.

We can't, of course, which is part of why I think we're so fascinated with our own images. Or at least part of why I'm so fascinated with mine. It was these thoughts that led to me taking a picture of myself in the art and then writing a second poem for the day. Sometimes even narcissism is productive!



It's easy to think art breaks even.
Creators leave a penny's worth
of blood in a gilt frame.
Then we come to take it away
a drop at a time.
If that were true,
the buildings would soon be empty,
and we'd charge up the great stone steps,
hungry,
empty,
demanding to be allowed to drink ourselves warm.
But instead of a penny we all leave a pound,
creators and ingestors,
leaving only brittle flesh,
taking only smoking scars.
Because through the glass art looks
like a healing water. We drink
and we drink, finding only fire,
scorching our throats in search of relief.
It's only because we let ourselves
believe it's self-inflicted
that we continue to ignore the burning
underneath our skin.
If art were zero sum,
they would call it war.


Basically, don't ever think of yourself as if you're not a piece of art.

You know how sometimes you sit down to write a couple of sentences about a thing and end up realizing you had more feelings about it than you thought you did? Yeah, this is kind of like that.
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