21 June 2006

Missing the Big Picture

This happened several months ago, when we were in London. But it's funny, and I've been meaning to share.

We were at the Tate Modern, which is in a huge building that was once a power station. This museum has particularly good signs about its art. In addition to the title, artist, and media, the signs also tell you quite a bit about the meaning and context of each piece. As we walked around, a couple in their early 20's was more or less keeping pace with us, and they were very carefully reading each sign and discussing the meaning of everything. Very sweet.

In one room, I came across them standing near one wall, earnestly discussing the sign. Here's where they were standing:

What you may or may not be able to make out is a tiny little sign on the larger wall (not the bigger sign to the left). For several minutes, they were standing in front of that sign, which described a work entitled "Hanging Figure." And they were looking down at the three objects on the floor, talking with great animation and interest about why the artist had entitled the piece the way he did, and what it all meant. They had some great theories.

Unfortunately, they were so engrossed in their discussion that they failed to look up. If they had, this is what they would have seen:
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(scroll down slowly)
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(a little more)
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They were critiquing the room's air vents.
I thought about telling them to look up, but I knew if I tried to talk, I would've collapsed into incomprehensible American cackles. So I snorted quietly into my clapotis and waited for them to leave for the next gallery, so I could tell hubby (who'd missed the whole thing).

3 comments:

Emma said...

Ahahahaha, hee hee hee. That's hilarious. Wonder if they ever realized their mistake?

dephal said...

As far as I know, they will spend the rest of their days believing the air vents were art. :-)

I love the colorway on you clapotis, by the way! It is kind of tedious to knit, but it's wonderful to wear. You'll have to let me know how it works out in Shimmer, which costs a *lot* less than Lion & Lamb.

Knatolee said...

HAHAHAHHAHAHA! Overly-serious art observers!!!! Ya gotta love 'em. Or laugh at them. :))