I’m not going to lie – I have less culture in my entire body than most people have in their little finger. For the most part I take everything at face value and don’t look for inner meanings or deeper connotations. When I see something that looks like a pillow, I see, well, a pillow. When I see something that looks like a pile of excrement that my dog would leave, that’s what my eyes translate to my brain. I therefore correctly avoid that pile and move on.
All of these characteristics are not something to be proud of – but that’s who I am. These characteristics also make it entirely ridiculous that I would subject myself to the joys of a modern art museum. Yet, there I was, heading down to hot, steamy Washington, D.C. on a recent weekend to take in the joys of modern art. I was ready to put away my normal sarcastic thoughts and soak in a crap load of culture so that I could talk intelligently about things at work on Monday morning.
And then this happened:
I walk into this beautiful old building and am immediately funneled upstairs into the main room. Dutifully, I trudge up the stairs and walk into a room with a fishing net on the ceiling and people strewn about all willy-nilly on the floor.
Was it a bomb scare?
Had there been a gas attack?
No – it was “art”.
Note that there is NOTHING that I could find that told people to flop down on the floor and look up. In my imagination, there was probably an older gentlemen that tripped over the carpet walking into the room and fell ungracefully on his back. To recover his wits about him, he just stayed there for a second to catch his breath and make sure all the parts were in the right place. However, as he rested, more and more people walked up the stairs and noticed someone laying down looking up. Before you knew it, people were flopping around on the floor like spawning salmon swimming upstream. They would walk in like normal people, and immediately just head for the floor.
Needless to say, I sat and watched those people as the actual art – not the fishing net. And I would bet that the museum developers were sitting back in their control room laughing their asses off and doing the same thing.
Anyway, after I managed to escape this view, I went off to explore the other rooms. Now before I go further, I’m not questioning for a second the SKILL of people making this artwork. They are amazing craftspeople that obviously can do things with their fingers that I can only dream of. But this?
If I could sculpt marble, I’d be making statues of people while throwing in an occasional animal or something. But a pillow? A marble pillow? I can just imagine 10,000 years from now when archeologists are digging this location and they find a marble pillow. Suddenly the whole world as they knew it would be turned over – they would think that people 10,000 years ago all slept on marble pillows and apparently had skulls the hardness of diamonds. What else could the expectation be???
As I walked further, I came across this:
I don’t even know how to describe it. I just took a picture, nodded knowingly along with the other tourists examining it, and move on to this:
The aforementioned pile of excrement.
With that, I decided I needed to lay down and rest to collect my thoughts. I headed straight into the main room, flopped down like a dying fish, looked longingly at the colored fishing net and thought about what I had become.