New Books and Neukom Vivarium

Saw this book at Half-Price books this weekend. Don’t remember exactly what it was about, but I know it was something art-related and Asian. But the triangles!!! I loved them. I did end up picking up a bunch of books this weekend too. Now I just need to find time to read them. Which will happen! Two that I recall offhand are an exhibition catalog for Reservation X edited by Gerald McMaster and a collection of essays by John Mohawk. There’s a lot of good stuff.

And this is a shot of the interior of the Neukom Vivarium at the Seattle Art Museum’s Sculpture Park from a visit a couple of weeks ago. Something to contrast with the triangles. In case you didn’t know, Bryn and I are working things out, so I’m not so single anymore. We had visited this when it first opened, and, while I liked it, there was also something that bothered me. Personally, I can’t stand the tile with the illustrations. The white with blue just seems too cutesy and cheesy to me compared to the green tinted canopy and the nurse log. But I think the main problem I have is the tension between the fact that they are doing everything they can to scientifically replicate the environment for this nurse log, when in fact, it already existed in a perfect setting before they brought it here.

Perhaps it emphasizes the problem I have with museums in general. On the one hand, I love them. But I also often think that the objects in them are somehow being held against their will. At least the things that were made to be used and not just for looking. This tension may just be part of this piece and part of the museum experience. But it does grate on me. And the idea of taking a living thing (or collection of living entities) for display is a little murky. I like the intellectual idea, but the actual execution leaves me frustrated.


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