Some bumbling, some standard deviations of any original idea have taken place. The tent is not habitable and the exhibits, while well conceived, are not approaching materialization. Meanwhile the emotive reality-tv melodrama artistic attendees have gone over the edge, and not as Artful deviation. The reunion and the Temporary Museum of enfant terrible Culture as holding memories of useful deviance has spiraled away from its’ intended meaning and value.
For example, by necessity we marked parking spaces, exhibit schedules, and bulletin board postings; positioning enfant terribles into a hierarchical ascendancy. Placing them in the continuum of critical dialogue importance, historical moment, and various utilitarian matters. Foolish maybe, but necessary. This begat bombshells hurled from cutting-edge enfant terribles as a consequence of inappropriate placement, at least in their mind.
We are in need of a pause. We are going to take a walk, would you like to join?
Step into the present state of the Illinois prairie. For we locals this is the place at the edge of the smile of God. It did not get the big smiling kiss of a mountain, nor an ocean or rushing river. It is the broad edge where the mouth curves a bit and crinkles the cheeks. The cheek’s blue blush is humidity, dust and pollen; sfumato for painters, that spills on to the edge of the globe. Eons of wind whirled those to build the bounteous soil under your feet. Below soil is gravel, pulverized mountain, the gift of the glaciers. All of that sits on a bed of limestone, thanks to a primordial ocean. While some places are eternally declining and falling to some new glory, the prairie is always trying to make something out of nothing; hoping for a glory day. We thought initiating the reunion and museum would hasten that day.
Foolish maybe, but let’s continue our quick survey.
When this prairie was Eden, a pair of centuries ago, the children of those who crossed and ocean, so as to cross the mountains, and so to arrive at this root-bound fertility; wrote letters and poems. They gave artful definition to the prairie by comparing it to whatever they remembered. But they didn’t know that the profuse flowers, layered spots in grassy blades, could be compared to paintings soon to be made. And that eventually rectangles, industry, and media wires would deviate all attention for artistic concern.
That may be the smiling big kiss: of lesser gods, now a place for our artifice.