Monday, February 1, 2010

things I still see, even after repeated viewing

1. Eadweard Muybridge was a 19th C. photographer who dissected motion with multiple cameras. He proved that a horse galloping experiences a moment when all four of its hooves have escaped the ground. He shot his wife's lover to death. He created the zoopraxiscope.

2. Roman Signer is a Swiss artist. His work happens. Explosions of paper. Water animated boots. The photographs catch him in the act.

3. I have never liked tentacles. Octopus, especially when served on a plate, makes me feel like my own skin is puckering and extruding suction cups. It's similar to the crawl I feel when I catch sight of the underside of a fern. After meeting my friends from Clarion though, I have a fondness for the idea of tentacles, if not the reality.

4. At the sockhop, there was applejuice and Coca-Cola. Chubby Checker sang "The Twist." There were clean white tennis shoes, pink poodle skirts, and buttoned up blouses with crisp scallops around the neck. Fathers danced. Daughters didn't even realise yet that this was unusual.

5. Remembrance Day is on the 11th of November. In England, they pin red paper poppies to coat lapels. They hand them out in the tube stations, and everyone looks like they are going to or emerging from the same place.

6. The Museum of Russian Art is at 5500 Stevens Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. It is the only non-profit museum in the United States that is dedicated to Russian art. If you visit when it is -20 degrees and white with snow, the trip across the street from parking lot to museum will make you feel like your lungs are paper thin sheets of ice that are liable to crack.


Kat Howard said...

Tentacles area a thing best experience in idea form, rather than in reality, I believe.

And when we do write our someday perfume novel, I think we should name a character after that most handsome of Russian saints, Demetrius.

EGauvin said...

re: Muybridge: have you ever read Rebecca Solnit's River of Shadows?

Megan Kurashige said...

Kat, I was just thinking that Demetrius is an excellent name... He was definitely my favourite. There should be more space in the collective consciousness devoted to fair-faced Demetrius.

Ed, I haven't read any Solnit... Should I?

EGauvin said...

Smart friends say good things about Solnit as a writer (especially Wanderlust), though for Solnit as a reader their enthusiasm is milder. I can only vouch for this book, which I did find ambitious and properly anecdotal. Also geographically relevant. I should perhaps have brought it up on Sunday when Em bemoaned the lack of stimulating nonfiction, but I'm short whatever brand of lateral thinking allows people to populate a category with entries when given only its heading. Put the gun of a category to my head, demanding examples, and I go blank, so to speak. It seems the only way through my dark mental woods is along a trail of associations, one thing reminding me of the next. And so: Muybridge to Solnit to--
The apparition of these poppies in a crowd:
Wish I'd been at that sockhop!