Monday, June 19, 2006
Minneapolis/St. Paul: Sunday
Jeremy didn't get any bright ideas at the Walker Art Center
I'm sitting at work now after having gone through stories from my vacation about 100 times each for various coworkers. By the end of the telling and retelling of the stories - ...then the Walker and a $13 drink at this place called Chino Latino. And this paella that was fabulous. Crappy pizza in Chicago, my last day of vacation spent in court. They said I could take the warrant for my arrest, but what if I move to Chicago? Better to pay the fine... - they had gotten so fantastic that I ended up practically telling stories about being chased by rabid raccoons and being nearly jailed for my defiance against a state cop. I swear, I should write books. Or bad action movies for Hollywood.
Sunday in Minneapolis. Jeremy and I woke up early for a hike in Minnehaha Park. I popped out of bed bright and early, popped two Advil and drank some water. No hangover, really. Just felt kinda crappy.
Minnehaha was beautiful. The weather was beautiful. A tad bit overcast and moderate in temperature. No rain. Just right for hiking. We saw a waterfall...
...and a river...
...and more water...
...and statues, including this one...
After the hike, we went back to Jeremy's to shower and get ready for a museum experience. We would only have time for one, and we had a choice between the Walker Art Center and a historical museum. I wanted to see both, but time was not on our side to go to a museum and get ready to meet Jeremy's aunt, uncle, cousin, brother and sister-in-law at a casino for dinner. It was my vacation, Jeremy said, so it was my choice. I chose the Walker. Big mistake.
Jer and his pair of square chairs, Walker Art Center
I knew Jeremy was a drama queen by this point, but I had no idea how much of one he could really be or just how allergic he was to modern art. I don't get it. The art never did anything to him, but he acted like it had insulted him to the very core of his being and that it was getting ready to launch a series of momma jokes at him in the 'hood with all his friends watching. Seriously. Jeremy was offended by the art. He didn't get it, and he didn't want to. He said it wasn't meaningful to him and that he didn't want it to be. He reminded me of my father. Not good.
My reaction to his freakout about the videos of the armed bunny and the girl sitting in the grass reading wasn't anger. I tried to explain things to him, to let him know that the pieces could mean anything he wanted them to, that there was no one answer or interpretation, that it didn't have to be serious, that he could have fun with it if he so chose. His problem with the paintings was that objective works of art they were not. Most of the 2D and 3D works of art at the Walker were neither still lifes nor landscapes nor portraits. The Walker, my dears, was in a large way all about the abstract.
I could tell that the minimalist works by Donald Judd and others like them really churned Jeremy's butter that Sunday. And not in a good way. I feel like he saw things he didn't like and immediately closed his mind to everything, though. In the sculpture garden later, he was still expressing his disdain and I tried to explain to him about how different artists express themselves differently. Hence Van Gogh and his need to get perspective wrong and use garish colors and a childlike painting style though his earlier drawings show just what a talent he had for realism. I tried to relate the works back to Jeremy by telling him that everything he saw was a product of the various artists' experiences, outlooks, feelings, etc. At one point, I tilted my head back in frustration and yelled to the gods, "It's human experience!"
That's when Jeremy indignantly let me know that he didn't care about other people's feelings, outlooks or experiences. End of conversation. Argh!!! Oh, and I didn't get a minor in art like Jeremy said on his blog. I got a minor in art history. A very different animal.
I am still offended by his offense at the art. I mean, really. The man in his home in Backwards, USA, wearing a bunny costume and shooting a gun through the window could have signified, like I said at the time, man's frustration with alienation. It's OK to make up a story, to let it mean anything you want it to mean. You just have to use your imagination. Art doesn't have to be and shouldn't be some kind of lofty thing. It's simply a representation of our humanity.
This is the end of my art lecture.
The Walker Art Center is a fabulously designed building that houses fabulous spaces and had dedicated an amazing amount of square footage to experimental video. The sculpture garden was nice, too, except that Spoonbridge and Cherry designed by Claes Oldenburg was in bad shape and the water it's a spoonbridge over was gone, drained. I guess the statue is being renovated. Here is a photo of it in disrepair.
Next: Minneapolis/St. Paul: Sunday night and back to Bloomington