The Unbearable Banishment: Human Nature Part II: Nightfall

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Human Nature Part II: Nightfall

I walked out of the Laura Pels Theater onto 47th St. It was dark out.

[I had just seen the clunkily titled The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin. Primo character actor David Morse is a white collar criminal home from prison to terrorize his family. A compelling story with some forced dialog and a few strained scenes. Morse, terrifying as always. Do you remember him from The Green Mile and The Hurt Locker?]

I crossed 6th Avenue to Rockefeller Center to see what Ugo Rondinone's Human Nature looks like at night. It was a satisfying enough work during the day. I thought the inky sky and floodlights might cast some interesting shadows. As I suspected, the work is much more nuanced and spooky in the dark. Isn't everything?

I usually don't upload this many pics from any single exhibit but I'm particularly pleased with how these turned out. It's a  photogenic exhibit at its most satisfying when fewer people are around.

This guy looks like he's going shopping at that J. Crew for some overpriced socks.

The compulsion is to walk up and touch them. I've seen people stroke and even hug them.

The lights spill onto the plaza and give the sculptures more texture and depth. 

A friend sneaks a shot of your humble author hard at work. Waiting for the pedestrians to clear my viewfinder

*     *     *

Have any of you had Lasik surgery performed on your eyes? Any regrets? Long-term negative side effects? How horrific an experience was it? The procedure looks like medieval torture but I'm so fed up with wearing glasses that I'm considering it. The operation can't be any worse than having my forehead cut open for basal cell carcinoma surgery and I survived that. Barely.


Blogger Pat said...

I used to know chaps (tigers)who could not walk past those sculptures without attempting to scale them, probably in bare feet. Do you have similar rock climbing nuts over there?
Sorry Lasik is outside my cognizance.

June 5, 2013 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

All I know about laser eye surgery is that some people haven't been happy with the results. Maybe complaints are now rarer after years of improvement. If you correct your short-sight, you might still need glasses to read.

Has an engineer checked those sculptures to make sure they won't fall over if someone kicks them?

June 5, 2013 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'm sure if the sides weren't so vertical or if there were footholds people would try to climb them. I remember seeing the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum and how the edges have been smoothed by decades of people touching it. What is the compulsion to reach out and touch?

June 5, 2013 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

The most painful aspect of laser surgery is that health insurers consider it cosmetic and won't give you a penny towards it. It's a 100% out-of-pocket expense. And it ain't cheap.

The sculptures are solid and won't tip. The big fear was that they were so heavy they would crash through the sidewalk. Rock Center engineers agreed to the exhibit only after a fortified concrete base was poured for them to stand on.

June 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Eryl said...

I would have to touch, no idea why, but in galleries where touching is forbidden I have to ram my hands in my pockets.

I know several people who have had eye surgery and they are all delighted with the results. None of them complained about the pain, either. I'd have my lenses replaced if I had the money, having to wear reading glasses drives me insane.

June 5, 2013 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

What is it that makes us want to reach out and touch these things? There's something primal about it. I always have to resist touching the old, white marble statues in the Met. I'll bet they're cold and smooth.

Thanks for the tip. Just thinking about the procedure makes my toes curl to the back of my heels. But it might be worth it. God. To see clearly under water would be heaven.

June 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Stone, rope and water, three natural elements that cry out to be caressed and in some cases tasted. Yep, I've licked them all at some stage, before you ask.

June 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

These are really amazing sculptures. I LOVE seeing them in the night light....You get a real sense of their Humaness. There truly seems to be "life" inside all that stone---And the Artist is really something. To capture what he is Quite incredible! I'm so happy you went back and then shared what you saw with your very beautiful photographs. You truly captured what the Artist created!

No help on the Lasik Surgery...Now Cataract Surgery I could rave about.

June 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I am looking forward to seeing those three ingredients included in a future recipe.

June 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Some of these outdoor summer art exhibits fall kind of flat but this one is the right exhibit in the right venue. It all mushed together seamlessly.

Do you get any good meds with cataract surgery? Just curious. With Lasik, all you get is a giant invoice and a boot in the ass out the door.

June 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL......You don't need MEDS with Cataract surgery other than the stuff they put in your eye to deaden it, and a little something to relax you....I was referring to the outcome! It was Miraculous! The difference was just amazing and so very very impressive! I had the other eye done two weeks later and it was also a very very positive result. Here;s hoping the Lasik Surgery is as wonderful. I think it is terrible that it is not covered by insurance.My Cataract Surgeries were covered.

June 5, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do look pretty cool at night. It's almost worth making the trip to see them. Almost. I love David Morse, I'd happily watch him in any old dreck because he'd make it better.

I'm too chicken for Lasik but I know a few people who had it done and are very happy. It doesn't obviate the need for reading glasses, but other than that it's supposed to be good stuff.

June 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Need? Who said anything about need? Meds are nice to have as a backup just in case things go off the rails. And I agree. Someone should pay for this surgery. Anyone!

June 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

I'd come to NYC just to see those sculptures. Almost like a human Stonehenge.

Me and my 'old man' bar buddies (as Herself calls them) were discussing eye surgery a couple of nights ago (we were drunk and trading reading glasses to see who had the best) and all came to the conclusion that we would stick with the specs. I am blessed that the only surgery I have had in almost 52 years was a very successful vasectomy.


June 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Wow. Love those. I want one. I particularly like the two shots with the (very tall) building. Very dramatic.

I can't think of anything worse than laser eye surgery but then I hate all things medical. I mean, you have to stay awake with your eyes open and everything! Barbaric. No.

June 6, 2013 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

have you considered contacts? i'm going back to them and get rid of my glasses. i had thought about surgery at one time, but like you, the cost was prohibitive!

i LOVE those sculptures at night. i'd have to touch them too, just because!

david morse is fantastic! i LOVED him in st. elsewhere, as a good doctor, but he is fantastic as a villain. xoxoxoo

June 6, 2013 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

BTW, thanks for mentioning david morse. i checked netflix and found that the series he did years ago, Hack, is on streaming! ;~) xoxox

June 6, 2013 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

David Morse is the man. I saw him in a creepy Connor McPherson play called The Seafarer. What a pick-me-up THAT was!

Oh, to look across a movie theater or onto a stage and not need glasses. It might be worth the agony. And I'm SURE it's agonizing.

June 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

That's funny you should name-check Stonehenge. People are jokingly calling the exhibit Manhattanhenge.

I wouldn't mind getting a vasectomy but as frightened as I am of Lasik I'm 100x more frightened a sharp scalpel near my nether-region. One slip and...well...I'd rather not think about it.

June 6, 2013 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

One of those statues would make an interesting lawn ornament. The neighbors would take note, I'm certain.

You're awake and you can't blink and you see a hand with a laser blaster closing in on your eye! Awful! The stuff of nightmares. Might be worth it.

June 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I tried getting contacts many years ago and I COULDN'T GET THEM IN MY EYE. Hence, my reluctance to get the surgery.

I forgot all about Hack. That guy flies below the radar but he gets a ton of work. He deserves it. He's really good.

June 6, 2013 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

" very successful vasectomy" Classic stand up material!(Also my double entendre!)

June 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

@dinahmow; :¬)

UB; The surgeon who did my op was a guitar player, and we chatted about guitars, players, and styles of guitar playing while he snipped, and I concentrated on the rather fancy ceiling tiles. The worst part was the big prick (hahaha) from the anesthetic needle, oh and the smell of burning flesh. And the swollen balls..... the swollen black & blue balls. But apart from that... Go for it.

(ps; I was at the coast today and was working on my favourite hobby of rock balancing. Some of my efforts would rival Manhattanhenge! I took pics but sadly can't load them onto the tiny netbook I'm borrowing at the mo.)

June 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

i am in love with David Morse, and you may have answered my "what should i see while in NYC?" conundrum! Studley will have to suck it up and deal with my squishy, mooey-eyed girlie crush!

smooth rock. must be caressed. cold, hard, unyielding. reminds us what we're up against all day, everyday. we should make that trek as well! counting the sleeps!

June 6, 2013 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Yeah, I've heard ALL ABOUT the post-op swollen balls. Heard they're no joke. No thank you, sir!

I look forward to those pics over at your place.

June 6, 2013 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

It's a good play and in a very, very small theater. One of my favorites in all of NYC. And it won't be super-whopper broadway prices, either. I say go for it.

Rock as a metaphor for our struggles. Well done. Be glad you're not here right now instead of a week from now. Big-ass tropical storm bearing down on us as I type this.

June 6, 2013 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

i'm headed to your other hometown in the morning. gonna fly a turboprop over that bigass lake... wheee!

June 6, 2013 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Happy landings x2.

June 7, 2013 at 5:22 AM  
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