How to Relax in Such Thick Context09/05/09
Kyoung was in the air somewhere between Mexico City, Mexico and Seoul, Korea; I was riding LACMA’s outdoor escalator between HappyHappy and A Needle Woman– Your Bright Future waiting behind the big glass BCAM doors, the Station fire and its apocalyptic smoke cloud looming above and behind me. “Whose bright future?” I wondered, coughing and picking a tear from the corner of my eye with the corner of my dress.
“Fiction is logical compared to the truth” Gimhongsok writes on one wall. On another he writes:
Here is the Sierra family from Mexico performing:
I watched children approach the costumes, holding their breath and slowly slowly reaching one finger towards the donkey’s ear slowly slowly ever-so-slowly until the long-awaited contact prompts an “Ah!” and a sudden retraction of the tiny hand that broke the rule and touched the imaginary Mexican inside the furry burro.
Kimsooja’s “Needle Woman” made me hold my breath. She stands, pony-tail towards me, and watches walkers watching her. In Yemen I counted minutes between women. And when they appeared, cloaked and covered like death figures but for slender rectangles, borders for shifting eyeballs gazing forward-forward/down/left-towards-the-uncloaked-stranger/and-away, I bit my mouth breathless claustrophobic and dry pulling my finger away from the imagined heat inside the costume.
Then Pompei: Stone curls, worshipers of Dionysus, a perfectly formed nipple, three lines for sound from hand-slapped drum, battle after battle after battle, and a glass bowl for holding wine. Every surface covered in story! The walls, the floor, the ceiling/the cup, the plate, the bowl/the tile, the statue, the garden, the bench, the fabric on the bed. Every surface covered in story.
A garden wall’s garden: hanging heads and posted heads, birds and bird-bath, plants. The Romans ate the Greeks, and Vesuvius ate the Romans. I wonder if their cloud looked like our cloud.