Monday, May 17, 2010

The Finger of God

Christian Boltanski's new installation at the Park Avenue Armory in New York consists of a lot of used clothes laid out like refugees sleeping in a shelter, plus a "mountain" of clothes from which a crane constantly picks clothes at random to lift and drop. A soundtrack plays human heartbeats. It is, the artist solemnly intones in this video, "about chance and destiny and the finger of god."

I will say this, that the effect of seeing this is probably greater than the effect of reading about it, which is my minimum standard for visual art. And it certainly is a creative way to use some of the mountains of clothes we throw away every year. Another than that, I don't know what to say, except that I am constantly puzzled by the things we pay a lot of attention to.

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