Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Apparition in a Museum

"That's something we don't have in our basement."
--A child looking at T'ang camels 

I don't have any camels like that in my basement, either, which is why I always go to museums whenever I can. 

I originally decided to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts because I wanted to see a book binding exhibitBook as artifact. You can't judge a book by it's cover. That sort of thing...

But visiting a museum is like going to the beach. It doesn't matter how often you go, something will be revealed. The angle of the sun aligns with a crack in a stone and lights up a wall of anemones in a cave for one moment, one winter day, in my life. The next time I visit, the cave is invisible, but I find the knee cap of a giant--or something that looks pretty much like I imagine that would look--complete with cartilage. It's just the nature of nature. And also I think, the nature of art. But I digress, I meant to tell you about falling in love with an outboard motor.

The Waterwitch. 

There isn't an image of the one in the MIA collection, so this is the best I could find. It is a photo from a page titled antique outboard p*rñ

"Aluminum, iron, rubber, rope, wood, pigment...
silver metallic outboard motor; sides of motor shaped like blimps with remnants of pigment stripes.

While accurate, the museum's on-line catalog description hardly does it justice. The thing haunts me. 

It was a real apparition. 

I'm making plans to visit another museum next month.
I can hardly wait to fall in love again.
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