We went to the MCA over the weekend. We decided to soak up some "art." I was sort of a reluctant participant, thinking museums are such dead places. We stumbled through a couple of galleries. I kept asking myself, "Why these paintings?" And, "Is this all just a sideshow?"
Then we walked into Simon Starling's "Metamorphology." And it blew us away. It's conceptual. There's a narrative. This is a coherent, stirring, and enlightening body of work. Profound and funny too. My favorite "piece" was "Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima)." It's an installation, a sculpture, an environment, a film, a sacred space. It ties together many strands - a story of ancient Japan and the modern world, nuclear energy and sculpture, secret doings and spies. It's a work of History, of Myth and Pop Culture. And real and fictional characters such as James Bond, Anthony Blunt, Henry Moore, Colonel Sanders and Odd Job figure in the story.
We walked through the sculpture, participated in it. We tried on the masks and became part of the piece. It's alive, and it changes as people interact with it. Then we sat on black Japanese-style prayer mats, and watched a little film that related an amazing, looping and loopy narrative. We listened to the narrator tell this magnificent tale and watched a master mask-maker make masks from little blocks of wood. It was amazing, exciting, inspiring. Art.
We walked out of the gallery transformed. I thought, "Oh yeah, this is what art can do... "
Photos by The Lovely Carla