December 30th, 2008

maya lin landscape


I am going to meet Jane today at the De Young so we can experience the Maya Lin exhibit together.

I bought the book when I was there last time.  Lawrence Weschler writes in the introduction of seeing the show as it was beginning to come together.  He was reminded of these words from Barry Unsworth's novel, Sacred Hunger, the description of the construction of a ship in drydock.

Work on the ship continued; she rose on her stocks from day to day, proceeding by ordained stages from motion to form. Like any work of the imagination, she had to maintain herself against disbelief, guard her purpose through her metamorphoses that made her barely recognizable at times - indeed she had looked more herself in the early stages of the building, with the timbers of the keel laid in place and scarphed together to form her backbone and the stem and sternpost jointed to it.  Then she had already the perfect dynamic of her shape, the perfect declaration of her purpose. But with the attachment of the vertical frames, which conform to the design of the hull and so define the shape of it, she looked a botched, disheveled thing for awhile, with the raw planks standing up loose all round her. Then, slowly she was gripped into shape again, clamped together by the transverse beams running athwart her and the massive wales that girdled her fore and aft.  She was riveted and fastened with oak trenails and wrought-iron bolts driven through the timbers and clenched. And so she began to look like herself again, as is the gradual way of art.

Sounds like a life, doesn't it?