Monday, April 9, 2007

art lessons

My brother and I took his 18-month-old daughter, Mattea (not her real name, of course), to an ultra-contemporary gallery. Which, as it turns out, was not nearly as bad an idea as it probably sounds. Mattea was fascinated by the video art, particularly the enormous metal cube covered with tiny flickering tv screens. She loved the installation called “Labyrinth,” which consisted of a jumble of river-smoothed stones scattered on the floor. If there was a way through the maze, I certainly couldn’t find it.

And she was very good about listening to “Just look. Don’t touch.” My brother says she’s already started full-fledged, screaming, lying on the floor, feet-kicking tantrums, but I haven’t experienced one yet, and, all things considered, she was remarkably good-natured.

I think Mattea’s favorite piece was a series of ropes of various sizes and diameters, dangling from the ceiling and set up so each one could twist and swing independently. It was called “The House of the Hanged,” and undoubtedly had some dark, macabre meaning. But Mattea just watched the swaying motion and pointed with both hands, insisting “Up! Up!,” until I lifted her as high as I possibly could.


Casey said...

Popping out of lurkdom to say that I love this post.

niobe said...

Many thanks for de-lurking and for the compliment.