Study on Modern Art

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A brief piece of writing which I wanted to jot down before the memories became too distant. Don't expect too much or anything. I was recently forced to visit several museums of modern art, Ludovico-style. They showed me many things. This is what I saw.

Submitted: May 16, 2012

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Submitted: May 16, 2012



After a short ride up the escalator, you notice what appears to be woman hanging from an umbilical cord noose inside of a fish tank. Upon closer inspection, you realize that the "person" is actually a mass of naked Barbie dolls melted together into a plastic cancer. My Adolescent Kelly, the one with the breasts that inflate with the touch of a button, is beheaded and chained to the piece's television-womb, which is running various 90's sitcoms that you can't recognise. You think it was that one about the uncles-in-law, but you're not quite sure.

You really should have taken the warnings about this museum seriously.

"Excuse me," the curator taps on your shoulder, "I'll have to ask you to step back. The artist has requested that all people wearing denim jeans remain five feet away from the exhibit at all times." He points towards a sign, that you should have clearly noticed on the way in you sick plebian fuck. You try to leave the room as quickly as possible, but the hallway into the next exhibit is completely filled with people, attentively taking notes while listening to faceless speakers somewhere in the mass.

Museum Curator: about your recent exhibition, which has toured across Europe and has recently entered our collection.

Sebastién Royal: Ah, you must be referring to Containment. Water-Cooler is a medium that has such an atmosphere to it, and carries a stunning dichotomy between environment and an uncompromising attachment to the sublime. Everybody has an association with it already, so I play with that.

MC: I can tell your environment has been playing a large role in your work. On that note, what specific augmentations do you find significant in your body of work?

SR: Containment has certainly challenged the way materials have been able to influence my artscape. Variations in the water used - tap water, Aquafina, sewage waste - have allowed me to tackle issues such as socioeconomic depravity and the very notion of man's inhumanity to man. This juxtaposition to mass media serves as a... an aide-mémoire to the viewer.

MC: Fantastic. A cri-de-coeur to the everyman.

SR: Exactly! But to the bon vivant, it would merely represent a coup-de-grâce of

At this point, their conversation has reverted entirely to french, but the people surrounding you remain as attentive as ever. You begin to regret dropping the language in college, but immediately forgive yourself when you successfully worm your way through the crowd. The victory is short-lived, however, when you realize that you have become trapped in the  collected result of a century of shock therapy and psychopharmecology. An image of Freud spinning in his grave comes to mind.

Everything about this place is foreign. A young mother quietly laments with her children in Russian over the exhibit of Austrian avant-garde, which you discover is only a fancy word for exotic porn exploring the Kama Sutra. The cheeseburger you thought you ordered at the world cafe wasn't a cheeseburger at all, but was apparently a foreign word that roughly translates to fried pig snout. It tastes exactly how you thought it would, which, tragically, was not chicken. 

The brochure referred to this place as "a conversation between the established and the experimental". This relationship finally strikes you as you stare out of a window, and briefly make eye-contact with a woman crossing the street. You might have struck up a conversation with her, and mentioned how that funny looking museum has a stunning resemblance to your fifth-grade teacher (no, really I mean it.) She might have found it funny, and you might have had the guts to ask her out, even though you just met and this totally crazy and you never do this but. She might have said yes, and the night could have gone any number of directions, and you would finally have someone to visit these stupid little galleries with. But instead, here you are, with your hand pressed up against the window, wondering how many land-speed records you would have to break to reach the entrance in time and meet up with her. 

It is at that moment that you realize that you are the art, and the people outside are the patrons. Now would you please take your hand off of the glass?

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