Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear readers, I have an exciting announcement to make to you today.  I am an artist! While I like to sketch, and I'm not bad at it, I've never considered myself a true artist until I read today's Outrageous News story and realized I've been creating art in my house for a decade and a half.

I'm very proud. I should call my mom.

According to today's news, Christian Boltanski, a contemporary artist from France, has created art in the Park Avenue Armory by piling 30 tons of discarded clothing into a 25 foot mountain surrounded by 45 rectangular plots of similarly discarded clothes.  A 5-story crane continuously picks up clothes from the mountain and then drops them onto another part of the mountain as art enthusiasts watch.  A recording of human heartbeats acts as a soundtrack for the experience.

Whoa, man.  That's deep.

The exhibit by Boltanski, called "No Man's Land," is supposed to highlight human identity, memory, and loss.  The artist describes the crane as a metaphor for "change and the finger of God."

For those of you without the means to travel to New York to see the big rock clothing mountain, here's a peak (snicker).  Please, breathe quietly, so as not to disrupt the energy of the display.

Moms, I know what a lot of you are thinking.  "That looks just like my bed/folding table/family room couch/laundry room floor."  Who knew slacking on your laundry folding duties could turn your mundane house into an art gallery?  I know who knew.  Christian Boltanski knew.  He probably stopped by his sister's/mother's/brother's house one day, saw a pile of clean clothes on a chair and thought, "Aha! Art!"

I don't know about you, but I'm getting in on this act. 

I have an exhibit currently on display in my master bedroom.  There are at least three loads of clean laundry in a pile on my bed.  Since learning of this news, I'm now calling it "No Mom's Land."  Tickets for the exhibit go on sale this week.  I like to think it represents every mom's struggle for meaning in the droning monotone of daily existence. 

I don't have heartbeats for guests to commune with, but there are usually at least two purring cats nestled into the clean clothes mountain.  I also don't have a crane, but I do have a "change and the finger of God" aspect to my laundry mountain.  Each day, I move the clothes from the top of my cedar chest to the top of my nicely made bed in hopes that its presence there will force me into folding it before I climb into bed for the night.  Each night, I look at the mound of laundry, decide I'm too tired to deal with it, and then shove it back over onto the chest.  The laundry changes and I pray every night for the finger of God to come down and fold it all for me.

Tickets are $45 each.  Children are welcome, but only if they're willing to fold ten garments apiece.  "No Mom's Land" will be on display in my bedroom for the next 13 years, at which time my youngest will be moving out and all five of my kids will have created laundry mountains of their own.