Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Incidental Conceptual Art Misdemeanor

Going through some old photos during my vacation, I came upon this one. I really like this photo. It has special meaning for me. Lemme 'splain...

About twenty years, (or so,) ago, I was working at Marblehead High School. My commute brought me past this bridge daily, and the graffiti on it changed fairly regularly, (kind of like the forerunner of the blog, but in a more rebellious, anti-social, way.) Then, one day, there was the message in the photo. Scared that the message would change too quickly, I brought my camera the following day to take this picture.

Although prior to reading seeing this, I had never given it much thought, (of course, that is the responsibility of good art, to invoke thoughts or feelings in its audience,) but immediately after seeing it, a spotlight shone down on the preconceived ideas that I had held.

I realized that in my mind, there were “types” of people. Many types. There were those who used, disliked and voiced their opinions regarding artificial sweeteners, and, in a separate and not-remotely-related category, there were those that tagged bridges in spray paint. It was simply my foregone understanding that these were mutually exclusive groups. It was not, mind you, something that I had ever consciously pondered prior to seeing this, just a preconceived assumption. With the blurring of this line, however, this assumption and many others, lacked the hold that once they had, and my "understanding" of people types was limited and not necessarily without exceptions.

I know that, in reality, this was probably just a case of graffiti by someone a quirky sense of humor, but sometimes, when seeking enlightenment, you gotta really grasp at straws and let the mundane assume the role of the exceptional.

In any case, I like this picture a lot.

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