Saturday, 19 September 2009

Museums

Museums
I spent most of today at the museums first the MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art. The main reason for going was they had a collection of Rothko paintings all gathered in one space. My first encounter with the work of Rothko was a mistake I wandered into the Rothko room at the Tate Modern in London, never been the same since. You can look them up on the internet to see them. But I sat looking at this work and after about 30 mins I thought something was going on. You know that deep down tingling or striering sensation, like when you are connecting with something bigger than yourself. That feeling you find it difficult to put into word, a piece of music, a view, looking at one of your children doing nothing but being. Knowing that the person you are with has made you more than you would be apart. They don’t make much sense on paper but they are the moment. My experience with Rothko at that point in time fell unplanned into one of those categories. I am not one of those arty types. I am a mechanic from Aston who happens to be a priest who wondered into a room because it was quiet. And now I find myself travelling around the richest country in the world looking at paintings by a man I will never meet.
So here at MOCM I am delighted to be in a room with a number of Rothko’s but it is not the same as before. They fell like a collection. If they were music they would not be from the same album. It is great they are here but they feel slightly boastful. You know when a room can have too much in it because you can afford it, or a garage with too many sports cars. Maybe one thing to learn from today is that the experience comes to you, you cannot control it. As we say in church it is an action of grace, undeserved and unearned.
Its a long way to come and a lot of shity showers to wash in to find that out.
Remind me to go on about the painting can’t become the substance. Oh and the two old Jewish ladies at the theatre.

2 comments:

  1. This is so what I have been on about lately. When you said, "Maybe one thing to learn from today is that the experience comes to you, you cannot control it. As we say in church it is an action of grace, undeserved and unearned" I totally knew what you were saying. (See, I can say 'totally' because you are in L.A.) And we continue to seek that moment of revelation and that touch of grace from God. If they came more often they wouldn't be as profound? I don't know.

    Ok, then. Tell us about the 2 old Jewish ladies.

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  2. less can be more sometimes - but the extravagant clutter in our lives, however beautiful, stops us seeing; your observations are so powerful, Nigel. Thank you.
    Sundays here are different without you. Sue and Edward

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