An Evening at the MFA

October 8, 2011

A curtain of beads across a doorway.

The caption on the wall said the artist created “experiences,” that all visitors were invited to walk through the curtain, to push the strings of beads aside and feel them, to animate the artwork, become part of it, make it part of them.

I walked away, with studied indifference, thinking I was thus making a statement of my own.

Then curiosity drew me back to the wall caption. Something had caught my eye in the artist’s bio, I think it was the word “Cuba,” and I wanted to know more.

It said the artist had died. Young, not yet 40. (Of AIDS, I was to learn later.)

So I said what the hell, I should not so blithely say no to a dead man. I walked through the bead curtain, and back again, and felt a strange sense of peace…



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