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Destroy This Mad Brute! Enlist!



Dreamed I had an app on my phone that would chime every time I was near anyone I’d been close to in a previous incarnation. In case I wanted to wave and say, Hi-i-i! in this reincarnation.

This was kind of a follow-up to a conversation I had yesterday with [personal profile] bel_ebat.

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I did end up going into the City yesterday. Meteorologists have been threatening us for days with something called “cyclogenic bombogenesis.” The term makes me feel a little like one of those doughty Londoners when the Blitz sirens start to keel. In the days before the 24/7 news cycle, they used to call these events "blizzards." Anyway, the snow just started falling. Total whiteout.

Follow-up to the blizzard is supposed to be three days of plummeting temps: Think -15° Fahrenheit. I figured I should have an adventure while I still could – even if that meant overcoming my natural inertia – since it’s likely I will be confined to quarters for the next couple of days.

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On [personal profile] lookfar's suggestion, read China Mieville’s The City and the City on the train ride down and back. BRILLIANT BOOK. Must let ferment in brain before analysis is attempted.

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Seeing [personal profile] bel_ebat was wonderful, of course. Afterwards, I went to the Met to see the Hockney exhibit, which was not quite as wonderful. Not Hockney's fault: He's a marvelous painter whom I like a great deal. For many years, I had a poster of the Mt. Fuji painting hanging in my living room.

But the Met itself was just ghastly. Teeming with people and waaaay overheated.

When I was a little kid, I could spend hours wandering around museums. But as an adult, I feel compelled to actually look at the paintings and objets on display (as opposed to merely letting them breach my consciousness through some subtle psychic process of osmosis), with the result that when I'm inside a museum, I often feel as though I'm inside a nuclear reactor. I can stand it for an hour max maybe. I start developing all sorts of weird physical reactions like pounding headaches and yawning every five seconds.

This is why I join museums: So I can visit them often without panicking, I paid all that money for an admission ticket! I have to see everything.

The Hockney exhibit was packed. You couldn’t get close enough to the paintings to see any of the interesting stuff – brushstrokes, errant flecks of color, etc – without which you might as well just look at a bunch of posters of Hockney paintings (Hockney being one of the most compositional of all painters.)

Exhibit is there till Feb 25. I’ll try to get back.

I wandered until eventually I ran into a gallery of WWI-inspired art. It was practically empty. Nobody cares about WWI. But, tell me: How can you not love this?



This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org/696953.html. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
nokomisjeff
Jan. 5th, 2018 12:52 am (UTC)
How long does it take you to get into the city, door to door?
mallorys_camera
Jan. 5th, 2018 03:41 pm (UTC)
Depends on which train I catch out of the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley and where I'm going in the City. On average, though, I'd say three hours.

And if you're planning a trip to NYC, you'd better let me know! :-)
bb_lurks
Jan. 5th, 2018 01:33 pm (UTC)
Familiarization
Your museum tactics as a kid are the ones I still use. I get itchy after seeing maybe 2 or 3 artworks that really move me. I run out of steam to see any more. "Yawn, another Rembrandt..."

One of my favorite sculptures is Michelangelo's Moses. I was on my own in Rome for a week many years ago. I made a point of visiting it every morning for 30 minutes or so. Getting there early meant there were no crowds yet (and it's a bit off the tourist track anyway in a nothingburger church.) You had to put a 10 lira coin in a box to get 5 minutes of lighting for it.

Osmosis works for music even better. When I'm confronted with a thorny, but well-regarded piece of new music, I put it on as background, not really attending to it at all for 5-10 "listenings". Somehow my mind assimilates its language and then I can listen closely with at least the prospect of enjoyable understanding.
mallorys_camera
Jan. 5th, 2018 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Familiarization
Somehow my mind assimilates its language and then I can listen closely with at least the prospect of enjoyable understanding.

Yeah, that's the way I do it with music and with art, too.
mexpatriot
Jan. 6th, 2018 12:19 am (UTC)
Wow! What a "Hun" gorilla! He's beating people bloody with the stick of culture?

I don't like museums much because of other people. Other people kinda ruin it for me. Whether it's a beautiful painting or a white tiger at the zoo, their attention span lasts seconds. Just as long as it takes to get that selfie to prove that they saw it to other people. If I go, I like to take just one section per visit. I often sit for a long time in front of one painting. I never liked the Dutch Masters until I did this with them. Wow!
mallorys_camera
Jan. 6th, 2018 03:51 pm (UTC)
Funny. I was talking to one of my closest friends on the phone last night, and she described exactly the same process: She'll walk very fast through a gallery, and then she'll wait for the spirit to guide her to one piece. And then sometimes she'll sit for hours looking at that one piece.
christies_world
Jan. 6th, 2018 05:00 pm (UTC)
Part of my early motivation to work in museums was so I could wander through them when they're closed. It's still one of the greatest perks of my job!
mallorys_camera
Jan. 6th, 2018 05:16 pm (UTC)
I'll bet! :-)

And I love Warhol so your exhibit is a definite must for any upcoming Manhattan trip.
mexpatriot
Jan. 7th, 2018 04:13 am (UTC)
That gorilla is literally carrying a Culture Club!

I wonder what meaning the propagandist intended with that? The image is so weird on so many levels.
mallorys_camera
Jan. 7th, 2018 02:27 pm (UTC)
Very weird. The inscription on the helmet says "Militarism"! And the ape is drooling. Early King Kong prototype. :-)
mexpatriot
Jan. 9th, 2018 03:51 am (UTC)
But why a bloody Culture Club? That makes little sense. The German "Hun" was beating people with culture? I just don't get it.

I mean, I see "black ape savage rapes pure white woman." But that is a zillion miles from anything real. Maybe advertisers/propagandists where really shitty back then?

I like that the Spanish word for advertising is propaganda.
mallorys_camera
Jan. 9th, 2018 01:10 pm (UTC)
Does kinda make one want to investigate the etymology of "culture club." It's gotta be some kind of allusion to something that was a popular concept at the time.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )