Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ready to venture out

Having read one more novel, my staycation proceeds apace. I'm actually starting to calm down a bit, shaking off my crazy mania to read more more more books as if it's the end of the world and there's finally time for nothing else but reading like Burgess Meredith in that greatest episode of "The Twilight Zone." Yes, I feel myself getting ready to actually leave the house, get out and about in the best city in which to be stuck for vacation, the city where there's lots of free and cheap fun to be had, and Teresa and I will start having it soon. Concerts in Central Park! Coney Island for ocean beach boardwalk bad food roller coasters fireworks! Walking here there everywhere, including the new High Line to see if it's all it's cracked up to be. I'm hoping we make it to the scary climate change exhibit and the intriguing extreme mammals exhibit, both at the Museum of Natural History, which you always have to gear yourself up to go to because first you have to pass that disgustingly outrageously offensive racist colonialist statue out front, Theodore Roosevelt on a horse rearing up above two flanking figures, a Native American and an African, so you're all swearing and sweating and surly when you enter the museum. There's also the Met, which I'd love to get to for several current exhibitions. There too, though, there's no simple enjoyment since you can't just ignore all that stolen art, colonial and neo-colonial thievery on lavish display. Currently, for instance, along with the the larceny always in the permanent collection like the Egyptian galleries, there's a special exhibition of "Hidden Treasures" from Afghanistan. The art and artifacts are "on loan," don't you know. Funny how you can invade and occupy a country and install a puppet government, which then "lends" you the country's treasures. Another currently featured exhibit is African and Oceanic Art. Which on the one hand looks wonderful, but on the other hand talk about expropriation. This show, from a Geneva museum whose collection began in the 1920s, "explores a rich legacy of connoisseurship," according to the Met website. Connoisseurship, oh, is that what they call it when European colonialists loot Third World countries of their cultural treasures?

OK. OK. Breathe. Relax. Because there's also this.Tomorrow evening we're heading uptown to the Rio II Gallery on Riverside Drive in Harlem for the opening of the Immigrants' Art Exhibit 2009. It's sponsored by a range of groups including the May 1st Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Taller Experimental de Arte, Arts Horizons, and the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective. From the promotional material:
Art has transformative and healing powers. It can trascend barriers, borders and differences. The exhibit provides an opportunity for immigrant artists to respond artistically to this time in history, in which immigrants are being persecuted and deprived of their rights.
Looking forward to it.