The architecture of a museum should compliment the content of what’s inside of it. With that in mind, Duomo Di Firenze is the most beautiful building I have ever seen. And I’m not relgious – my gravitation to this structure has nothing to do with faith. A couple of years ago, I visited Florence for the first time. Walking across the Piazza and up to the Duomo had me feeling spiritual in a way I’ve never experienced before. Perhaps it was the incredibly blue sky that day, or the contrast of the pink and light green residential houses alongside the narrow side streets and accordian music that made the Duomo seem especially immense. I know one thing for sure, when I walked back to the church at night, it was one statue in particular that brought me to tears as I stared at it’s face looking down on me. The expression had me transfixed. How could anyone create such human emotion out of stone? I felt in one moment incredible spirituality and in the next, terrible sadness for a time I’ve never experienced. I searched through my pictures from that night in March, 2015 and was pleased to rediscover it.
The exterior of the Duomo would be a very intense backdrop and location for an exhibit for all the art that has made an impact on me. In the incredible situation where that could happen, I would fill outlines of the Piazza with easles for the paintings and photographs, and the statues and sculptures would be grouped, centered by the easles.
Yves Klien, a French artist known best for his paintings, was the subject and artistic director for the photo “Leap Into The Void” (1960) When I first saw this image it was not in a museum, it was in the magazine AdBusters and immediately researched it, tore it out and it’s been on my wall for 7 years now. Carefully coreographed, just like his paintings, this photo was the result of a montage. The original contained two of his friends holding something to catch him with.
Music has been an integral part of my life since I was very young, so it would be a shame not to incorporate some aspect of how important music has been to me in an exhibit of my own curation of memory. Since 2011, I’ve been collecting “Songs of the Month” that are a list of songs associated with each month of the year, sometimes two at once, that were stuck in my head or my wife’s head at the time. It’s served as a way of remember what was going on that year during that specific month in time. And it’s incredible what the power of music can do to your memory. It’s also interesting to see what songs reappear years later, sometimes near the same month. I would include this part of the exhibit as an interactive jukebox. Sort of like the one I’ve set up above, but physical. Although some of the song choices were not my favorite song, I was true to what song was stuck in our heads for most of the month, even if it was a song I didn’t like that much.
Another piece of art that brings back a lot of memories is the Alice and Wonderland statue in Central Park. I remember playing on the huge mushroom and grabbing at the bronze facial features, noticing the smell it left on my hand like pennies. While it’s not the prettiest sculpture I’ve ever seen, actually I find it to be a little terrifying when you look at the faces, it will always remind me of childhood, playing at the park and feeling lonely.