I’m feeling, well, out of it.
I had a marvellous and challenging weekend. Never let it be said that urso isn’t a delightful houseguest (among other things). So I should be an occupant of the planet Blisstonia these days and yet – not.
Sunday I missed out on Folsom Street East, heading instead down to Baltimore to be part of a panel on Black Aesthetics at the BMA, as part of the opening ceremonies for Kerry James Marshall’s touring exhibition, “One True Thing”. The show was a brave and impressive one: Kerry has taken on the issue of “what is a black aesthetic?” and made a huge number of works in many different modes that all reflect various takes on that problem. A real stretch for him and almost Homeric in it’s fusion of local incedent and grand themes.
As for us on the panel, it was the usual mix of earnestness and misunderstanding that happens when people get together to try to talk about things that mean a great deal to them in front of a bunch of strangers. We got bogged down on various points and had to thrash through to some sort of clarity. I’m interested in these events, and I see them as an important part of what I do, but they are only rarely a “good time”.
The best part of the day, aside from getting to see Kerry, his wife Cheryl and curator Thelma Golden, was getting to ride the Acela express to and from Baltimore. It’s a smooth and comfortable, almost European ride. I wish that rail travel hadn’t declined so much, because I much prefer it to flying.
I find myself coming up against the issues of how much I actually want to put in this journal. Part of my vagueness stems from once again being unsure what it’s all for. Perhaps this is just anxiety about the impending month at Bard and the sense that I’m unprepared for that.