Appropriate credit: the subject of today’s work is a sculpture called ‘Dissident’ by artist Ben Pierce. Facing this direction, the circle frames the Missouri State Capital. Facing the other direction, the circle frames one of the old Missouri State Penitentiary guard towers. That juxtaposition is deliberate. It sits in front of an empty lot where once stood a squat, brick building completely out of place with the historic nature of the neighborhood. Fifteen months ago a tornado rendered it uninhabitable. At the time the building was being used, in part, to exhibit art. After saving the art, bulldozers flattened what remained of the building.
Think of the tornado as a virus.
It took months staring at this photographic capture before I knew how to create a work both appreciative of the sculpture itself while also offering its own vision.
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I should expand on my last post, which I think emphasized the trend (we live in times when one pandemic will follow another and even after we develop a vaccine for this one we can expect more to follow) and only hinted at its impact. An economy for many consumer and essential goods can be cobbled together using on-line and socially distanced dissemination points. What is not surviving are the cultural elements of that economy – theaters, movies, museums, music, galleries, and of course spectator sports. Restaurants may only hang on if they can do a heavy curb-side business, which removes that cultural experience as well. The sports leagues are desperate to open up; games in empty or nearly empty stadiums will at least satisfy their television contracts this year but won’t achieve sustainability going forward, at least not under current salary structures. Of course, it’s sports around which so much angst is expressed; movies and music and art are one thing but to lose football, OMG!!
It astounds me that so many think of next year as though all will be “back to normal”. Just like that – like magic. Whose silly idea was that?
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.