Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ai Wei Wei Exhibit Day

Ai Wei Wei Exhibit Day

    On Thursday, Carrie Jess and I went to the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It is a beautiful exhibit. There are articles, educational shows, and documentary films which explain why Ai Wei Wei is an important artist and why this is an important exhibit, so I will not dive too deeply into those fascinating and intriguing details. For me, it justified the existence of a person which must always be allowed to exist if we are to remain human: the artist.
    The last thing one experiences in the exhibit is a massive list of the names and general information of five thousand Chinese students. Young students. The sound of various voices speaking names in native chinese language and dialect float through the air. I felt my eyes well up with tears and an unexpected heat in my chest and neck as I entered the room. If I'd have been alone my eyes would have been streaming. The names being spoken were five thousand Chinese children who died during an earthquake when the school they studied within collapsed.
    A foundation started by Ai Wei Wei and others were responsible for finding the names and limited information about these children, not the Chinese government.

    Never Sorry is the name of the documentary film.

    Earlier in the day, while driving on Interstate 65 towards Indianapolis, we were met with a traffic jam. There were helicopters. Jess speculated they were searching for dead bodies. Carrie said it must be a big body if it could be seen from so high up. I assumed it was because of the traffic. We were all a little bit right.
    A semi truck crashed into a school bus of special education students. No one was seriously hurt thank goodness, but people were hurt. We spoke in two word sentences as we learned what was going on  from streaming information floating through the air to our phones and many others.
    Oh no.
    Too bad.
    It's, uh...
    That's good.
    Not good.
    Just better.
    I know.
    I recognized someone at the accident. Emily, reporting the beat for the Journal and Courier. Reporting this possible tragedy. What was she thinking about what she was seeing? It was destined to be a thought provoking day.

    Imagine being destroyed by something you thought you could trust.

    May 16th, 2013, in Indianapolis, Indiana was a beautiful day. We walked in the 100 acres art park around a lake. I described an artist's work I found similar to an installation on the lake Carrie, Jess and I circled. I walked ahead of them to see the sign installed for the installation: Indianapolis Island by Andrea Zittel. "It's an Andrea Zittel" I announced half embarrassed because she is the artist I had prior been describing. I felt like a nerd. Maybe I should have felt like a tour guide.
    We discussed issues in art education and American education in general. We told and listened to rumors of life and career. We spoke of past people, past experiences of our lives, joys and pains of growing up, college. We walked and talked  and were quietly mindful on occasion. Carrie, Jess and I enjoyed a stroll around a lake and all of us had ill chosen footwear on. Yet stroll on we did. How wonderful.

1. All three of us are trained art educators in America
2. All three of us have tried, some harder than others, to find a job where our skills could be utilized in a positive manner.
3. All three of us have been unsuccessful, at least financially in this regard.
4. All three of us are well equipped for this role whether we care or not.
5. All of us care about this world, this country, this state, this city, or some city, some state, some country, some world, some solar system, some galaxy, some universe in some way, somehow.

    After the walk we drove to Mass Ave. to see a marketplace. We went to a store which has a lot of stuff geared towards Indiana pride. Not Hoosier pride, Indiana pride. Some stuff is geared solely towards Indianapolis pride, city pride. I thought about Dublin. I didn't talk about Dublin. I would have loved to talk about Dublin and gang anthropology, but it did not seem like the time or the place.
    Jess Grew up on the South side of Chicago. She went to an all girl's Catholic school and her father was a police officer.
    My father was a police officer.
    Along with an art education degree, she has a degree in something similar to criminal justice. I am bad with names until I am not.
    Slow learner, but good listener.
    She tries not to speak to her mother and her mother tries not to speak to her, but I do not know why.
    She is a lesbian.
    I barely know her, but I believe we could talk about gang anthropology in the right environment.

    Carrie, Jess, and I grabbed a drink at a bar named The Chatterbox. We sat outside sipping our drinks, making small talk and occasionally dipping back into educational issues, career issues, and life issues while waiting for dinner at the Rathskeller Biergarten. We finished our drinks and checked on Carrie's car because it was parked in a questionable place in Indianapolis with the window half rolled down. All the time we walked I was thinking of how lovely it would be to live there. We checked out a toy store which sold toys relating to science, aerobics, puzzles, language, math, history, culture, architecture, music, construction, dynamics, and art. It was wonderful and strange. The store sold children's books too. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein is still published. Glory be, but not on recycled paper yet.
    Dinner was german food and Bell's Oberan beer with several people I didn't know outside on a beautiful night with three middle aged white men playing a cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley among other songs.

    I asked Carrie several questions throughout the day about her new job. She will be spending the summer of 2013 working as an art director for a summer camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A summer job is really beginning to make sense to me in a way it did not in the past. A summer job somewhere different. Somewhere some people may appreciate my abilities a little more. This feeling of bitterness becomes tiresome to me quickly, but it certainly comes.
   She simply looked up a camp website from the magical internet and signed up. She is going to be fantastic at her job and I am going to keep in touch. You too, Holly; you too, Bailey; you too, Justin; you too, Zeno; you too, Alex; you too, Aarons; you too, Josh and Robyn; you too, Jeff and Melanie; you too, Mom and Dad; you too, my sister and Jared; you too, my friends; you too, my family; you too, my blood and everyone else who slip mind from time to time before becoming too biblical.

    Sixteen of May was a beautiful day,
    Indiana introduces Ai Wei Wei.
    And it was also Sara's birthday,
    I hope she too had an Ai Wei Wei day.

Aaron C. Molden

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