Daily Archives: November 13, 2014

Counting the Countless – A Good Day in Texas

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Magdalena Abakanowicz is one of my favorite artists.  She makes art about the “countless”… those countless people and animals that are so easily grouped together in life…..the homeless, the Holocaust Jews and Gypsies, the poor, the unemployed, minority women, stray dogs, bees….living creatures in groups that lose their individuality because they amass in such huge numbers that society stops viewing them as individuals and sees them blindly as one entity….the group…..the countless.  There are too many of them to count, yet each one is still an individual.  Abakanowicz is on of this world’s most important artists and one that I wholly appreciate for the depth and breadth of her remarkable creations.

 She says: “I feel overwhelmed by quantity where counting no longer makes sense. By unrepeatability within such quantity. A crowd of people or birds, insect or leaves, is a mysterious assemblage of variants of a certain prototype, a riddle of nature abhorrent to exact repetition or inability to produce it, just as a human hand can not repeat its own gesture”.                        

 

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This is me, standing in front of one of Magdalena Abakanowicz’s most famous installations, “Bronze Crowd” in Dallas, at the Nasher Sculpture Center.  The light scrolls are Photoshopped in, simply because I liked the affect.  We had just dined inside, and were strolling around the grounds together, thrilled, as always, by the outstanding works of art that surrounded us.  That was a particularly wonderful day.  When it isn’t crowded, Nasher is the perfect place to meditate.  It is peaceful there.  Beautiful.  Hard to believe it is even in Texas at all.

I was thrilled to be standing in front of the Abakanowicz piece.  Each statue is headless…and slightly different from the next.  The installation signifies a statement about lost individuality.  In addition to victims of atrocities, I look at this work and  think of those that try so hard to fit in with what they are “supposed” to do, and, in the process, lose who they really are.  They forget to smile.  They forget to love.  They forget to have fun  They lose their voices in the fray.  This installation is a reminder that each person on this earth is an individual with unique qualities worth paying attention to.

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Nasher has a fantastic gift shop.  In the picture above, I was wearing my new SAAKO infinity scarf  that I had received as a gift from their shop. It has flecks of gold in it and is truly beautiful! I have been addicted to these scarves since then, and have now amassed quite the collection of them.

The Nasher Sculpture Center is located in the heart of Dallas’ thriving downtown Arts District.  Going there is my second favorite activity when I visit the Dallas area. 🙂   It is located at 2001 Flora Street.  If you ever find yourself in close proximity, do go there.  It is an art oasis that you will never forget.

 

Ticket to Ride

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Ticket to Ride

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago, who has finally become mobile again after being without a car for a long stretch of time.  He lives in the burbs….hates it….and was comparing it to living in prison.  Well, yeah.  I can imagine.  The thought of living in the suburbs, to me, is tantamount to that very thing.  Prison.    There isn’t enough money to pay me to live in the burbs.

Boooooorrrrrrring.

Although raised in a rural area, my heart has always had an urban beat.  I have a car….a nice one…but it stays parked about 80% of the time.  I love our state-of-the-art public transportation here in Portland.  I love it in New York.  I love it in Boston, in L.A., in London.  I also  love the trolly that runs near my friend’s house  in New Orleans….I am an advocate of public transport. Period.

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Here in Portland, there is  a large designated area downtown where passengers can ride the MAX light rail or a trolly free of charge.  To get downtown, I merely walk 1 block from where I live, and can hop on within 10 minutes and be downtown in under 15. There is an iPhone app that tells me which carrier is nearest and what the best travel options are.  It tells me if a bus is running late or if taking the MAX (our light rail)  would be the better option.

No worries about parking or traffic….none of that nonsense.  I live within walking distance of virtually anywhere I’d want to go anyway, so I usually either walk or ride my bike.  The only time I drive, really, is either to go across town to pick up Ingrid, or to go out of town.  The rest of the time, I bus or take the train…and I love it.

It is good to get to know the public transportation system in a city.  It is a freeing endeavor.  It makes one’s life easier, is better for the environment, and is simply the smart thing to do.  It gets you outdoors, puts you in touch to a greater level, really makes you feel a part of things, and is quite nice, actually.

I love Portland.   I’ve got a ticket to ride. Here…and elsewhere.