The Unbearable Banishment: Dreaming is free

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dreaming is free

Here's another one I found in my recently excavated journals. There was no date on it but I estimate it to be around 1991.

*     *     *

lotto dreams

The New York Lottery was $33 million dollars.
The night shift word processors all chipped in
because
we hate our lives.

I volunteered to call for the winning numbers
to confirm for all
what we already knew in our hearts:
The continuation of our sorrow.

Prior to dialing
I clandestinely copied the numbers
off of Nancy’s ticket.

After hanging up, I misrepresented to all
the numbers I copied down
as the winning numbers.

Nancy’s face was crimson with joy.
It looked as though she might hemorrhage
so I stopped the masquerade
and revealed
my deception.

Everyone was quite cross with me.
But later that night
Nancy came up and thanked me.
As she explained:
“Now I know how it feels to win millions of dollars.”

*     *     *

 Here's the current installation in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art.


Some artists work in oils. Some in clay. Some prefer gouache. There's a multitude of mediums to choose from. Can you guess what Wolfgang Laib uses?


This is Pollen from Hazelnut, a site-specific work that's constructed from pollen Laib collected near his home in Germany. It's sifted onto a slab into a fuzzy cube. Mrs. Wife asked how anyone with severe allergies can step into the building without being overwhelmed and I didn't have an answer for her. All I can say is that pollen does not permeate the air.

I love this big, open space. There aren't many like it in Manhattan. I always look forward to seeing what an artist will do when handed the keys to the car, but I was underwhelmed by this. If meh wasn't such a tired, worn out cliché I'd use that, but since I'm above clichés, I won't. It's best to view this from up on high. I had to tamp down an urge to walk through it and leave footprints. Kick up a big yellow cloud. Turn it into a participatory installation.


26 Comments:

Blogger Chef Files said...

I spent the best part of 2 hours cleaning up a huge spillage of paint today fae a clients freshly laid laminate floor. I must be in the wrong job...

February 18, 2013 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

You should have roped it off and charged people £10 a head to see it. Another lost opportunity.

February 18, 2013 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

sweet mary sunshine, sweetpea! i KNOW art and/or art appreciation is supposed to be subjective, but the Walter Tango Foxtrot is that supposed to be????
xoxoxoxo

February 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

*sigh* i meant "WHAT the..."

February 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

That yellow is one heck of a yellow. I find it quite magnetic and I'd love to see some bees react to it. Nancy was a great sport - a lesser woman would have kicked you in the nuts.

February 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

I just read something about this piece....I LOVE your pictures from above....!
It looks very colorful and amazing from up high. But....why?? More and more, I understand less and less about so called "ART"!

February 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

Agree with Gorilla B... she was a pretty remarkable sport. You were kind of a shit for doing that, though.

That pollen bit? Totally the bees knees...

February 18, 2013 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Be? BE? I have no idea. I never know. I simply judge if it's pleasing to my senses. I leave metaphors to the deep thinkers and creators.

February 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I probably deserved a good swift kick. You have to cut me some slack. It was such a long time ago. I was a different boy then. Hopefully, I've evolved a bit since.

February 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I think you do yourself a great disservice by asking why too much. I stopped long ago and freed me to enjoy the work on a visceral level, which I know a lot of people would sniff. But it was incredibly liberating for me.

February 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Admittedly, it was not my finest hour. But as I explained to him, it was long ago. I would hope that I've risen above that sort of cruelty. And the bees knees? I suppose I was asking for that. Or...Laib was asking for it.

February 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM  
OpenID fearnoweebles said...

I don't remember that pollen exhibit, but then again, I've never been a regular MOMA visitor. I too would have had an urge to walk through it. And if I were Nancy, I'd have had an urge to kick the shit out of you, much like Daisyfae and Gorilla B. But hey, we all do stupid things when we're younger, I'm sure I did some pretty stupid things 22 years ago as well.

February 18, 2013 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

I rarely do the Lotto, but when I do, as I did today, I really believe it's gonna be my time. It never is. But I'm never disappointed.

As for the Art.......... :¬)

February 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'm lucky in that I work right across the street from MoMA and get in free with my work ID. I go over on my lunch hour on a fairly regular basis. And there's no WAY you did anything stupid when you were 22. Right? Otherwise you'd do a post about it. Right?

February 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I occasionally buy a lottery ticket but I always feel stupid when I do so. I fancy myself a student of the odds and only a delusional idiot would think he'll actually win the lottery.

February 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM  
OpenID fearnoweebles said...

The thing is, the stupid things I did when I was 22 weren't even remotely entertaining or blog-worthy. They were just dumb. If I had known back then that I'd be blogging 22 years later, I'd have aimed for better material.

February 18, 2013 at 7:59 PM  
OpenID Winopants said...

I'll double your "meh" on that art piece and add a "Meeheheh" (which sounds something like a granny goat saying meh).
We take our meh-ing seriously in this house

February 19, 2013 at 2:20 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

You really are Bukowski

February 19, 2013 at 2:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I hate to overuse a phrase but it works so very perfectly with the feeling that welled up in me when I looked at this piece. The very meh-ness of looking a big square of pollen is the ideal description.

February 19, 2013 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Except for the fame. And the talent. And the money. And the women. And the publisher. And the BMW. And the and the and the and the...

February 19, 2013 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger dinahmow said...


The yellow? Looks like a colour swatch from the paint centre."The everythingness of everything else..." comes to mind.

As for playing such a mean trick with lotto results. You must have been an ass cos that's not the man I know!

February 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Rest assured, it's not something I do today. So many years later and I can see the cruelty in it. Void of any humor. But at that time I thought I was being quite clever. I thought I'd put it out there unedited.

February 19, 2013 at 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should take the little one to see it and cut her loose I bet it will turn out much more beautiful than what I am getting out of it....just a thought.
MT

February 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

If anyone is going to walk through that pollen it's me. Got it? The little one can invent her own mayhem. This one's mine.

February 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger ElGuapo said...

There are many things labelled as art that I don't get.
Once spent 10 minutes admiring a ladder and tarp at MOMA before I saw the "we're working here" sign.
Still not sure it wasn't an installation...

February 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Hi there! You have to keep trying. I always hope for that moment when I turn the corner and am knocked flat on my ass by an artist's work. I've had that happen! it's a constant search to relive that moment.

February 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM  

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