Past Present Future, Part II

By: pbcmedia

Jun 13 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: 1, Art, Contemporary Art, Creativity, Culture, Events, Inspiration, Life, Personal, The Single Life


Focal Length:5.8mm
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Camera:Canon PowerShot SD850 IS


The first thing you notice in Kapoor World is the smell of the Planet Saturn. Yes, yes, you heard me right: that sixth planet from the sun, second largest in the solar system, with an equatorial diameter of 74,130 miles (thank you,

It appears to have collided with the front of the museum and penetrated through the upper floors to come to rest, lodge, and/or protrude from the white walls of this light filled gallery (larger and better lit than the one pictured here).

O, wait. It’s red. Mars is red, right? But Kapoor’s Saturn (actually titled, Past Present Future) is red from wax–pounds and pounds and pounds of wax, (which accounts for the aroma upon entering the gallery) not planet soil rich with iron oxide. This red is not yellowish like the hydrogen from the real Saturn.

But, make no mistake, the sculptor is a red guy, so in Kapoor World, Saturn has got to be red. He is not concerned with objects being beautiful, he says. “The world has enough of luxury goods”. And what good is it, I say, being an artist if you can’t make your planet the color that you like?

Why red?

Because red has a “very powerful blackness” he told the curator of the museum.

So, red is black? No, silly.

“Red is an open and beckoning color but it also associates itself with the dark interior world, and that is what interests me.”

Oh. Darkness. That absence of light thingy that we carry around within us, you mean? That little thing that makes us think there are monsters under our bed when we are three? Yes, where terror resides he says. Do you mean that Kapoor knows that no matter my jaunty waves at human planet big deals or blue suits and strands of pearls, that I struggle with darkness, my own resident terrors?

O, yes, Dorothy. We are not in Kansas anymore my dear. In fact, we’re no longer in Boston, either. If you don’t bring your terrors (as if I could just leave them home), Kapoor world will not let you in. The visitor completes his art with their own darkness, their own shadowy holes.

Okay. It’s about here right at the start of the exhibit that my stomach sort of twists. I’m feeling something and it’s not good but maybe it’s joy, I can’t be sure.

I think proximity to this planet has created a gravity pull. I am drawn to check out the white mechanical arm that arcs over the planet of wax. Wait one damn minute here.

It’s moving. Slowly. I mean slowly. But, it’s moving. There’s a track there and it’s moving through it, red wax dripping on to the track like blood and splattered like a scene from TV’s “CSI” off to each side. Its slow march is shaping the planet Saturn at the same time it is rotating around it.

Ok. Ok. Ok. Calm down. Do you mean this is creating itself as I look at it? Slowly creating itself, creating me, even? But no, I really mean it: creating so slowly, almost as slowly as living 63 years, that it’s 48 hours since I’ve been to the exhibit and I’m not sure it’s even completed one full sweep of the diameter.

So the rings of Saturn are actually a sculptor’s bloody hand? Yes.

So the rings of Saturn are sculpting my dark interior spaces right before my very eyes? Yes. (No wonder I feel a bit queasy)

So, the rings of Saturn are scraping my current exterior to reveal my interior, whatever depths I have, as I stand slack jawed in front of it?

Yes. Yes. And, Yes. My knees begin to tremor every so slightly, a 3.4 on the Richter scale. This is only the first piece of this exhibit. What else does he know about my past? My present? Who shall I be at the end of it?

It is both terror and joy that I feel. I am not yet finished his work tells me. I am not the sum of my fears or my joys. I am still becoming.

This is what art can do in the soft hands of a magician.

©2008 Pat Coakley


10 comments on “Past Present Future, Part II”

  1. saturnine
    1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
    2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
    3. due to absorption of lead, as bodily disorders.

  2. Razz, are you telling me I am suffering from lead poisoning and am not, alas, still “becoming”? Nah. I think you’re just doing wordplay on Saturn. Right? Er…that is right, isn’t it?

  3. Another wonderfully descriptive piece. Glad you got something out of the exhibit. Many people just stare and move on . . .

  4. Oh wows it was as if I was walking in your shoes, smelling what you smelt, seeing what you saw, wows! Absolutely incredible as always!

    PS Boston definitely sounds incredible… pedestrians that have right of way??? heaven!

  5. I was referencing “Saturn (actually titled, Past Present Future) is red from wax–pounds and pounds and pounds of wax, ”

    Lead tetroxide is red and it’s used in red pigments.
    Lead is heavy and dense.

    It seems to me that Kapoor is playing around with the idea that Saturn is saturnine.

  6. Yes, Tysdaddy, perhaps I too should have just walked on by. A friend just called me who read the blog and said Sometimes walking on by is a good thing, no? Grrr…I said back.

    The pedestrians have the right away, Sanity, until they are run over then they go to heaven.

    Razzman…who knew this about you? lead tetroxide? Is that a fire accelerant? Is this why you know so much about it??

  7. “Razzman…who knew this about you?”

    I’m a multi-talented pan-dimensional being ;-)

    “lead tetroxide? Is that a fire accelerant?”

    No. Zinc and aluminium dust are much more entertaining.

    “Is this why you know so much about it??”

    No, but I’ve been aware of the connection between Saturn and lead for years. The alchemical symbol for lead was also used to represent the planet Saturn in astrology.

    Back in my dark ages, I used to dabble in such things.

    I can’t imagine that Kapoor wouldn’t be aware of the connection as well.

    I like the word “saturnine” (for strange some reason). The word evokes in me thoughts about Cronos and how he ate his children. A dark and brooding existence he must have had.

    Which in turn reminds me of the first verse of Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    “It little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
    Unequal laws unto a savage race,
    That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.”

    Don’t you just love the way art transports one? As you can see, it drags me all over the place.

  8. From experience not always heaven, I tried to knock over the lady that was testing me during my driver’s test and well hmmm didn’t go down so well excuse the pun…. now for some reason people think I am a danger on the roads *shrug* for what reason I do not know! Please don’t let Amber see that comment I’ll never hear the end of it!!!

  9. Razz, exactly! Art truly does transport me and on some days, of some months, of some years, it has even have transported me to safety. I totally love that you get this part!!

    Sanity, c’mon, girl. Did you deliberately try to knock the lady down or did your foot on the accelerator slip?

  10. *ahem* is aiming while your foot slips still classified as an accident for it really was one I swear it! Just for the record she was mean and I am sweet, tried to save the world one traffic cop at a time…

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