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Subjectivity

August 20th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

INT. ART GALLERY, EVENING

PAMELA REGLINE: …but this one is the crown jewel of the installation, in my view. A rich, complex depiction of the intricacies of modern life with oil on canvas.

WALTER BEDOUN: I see. What’s it depicting again?

REGLINE: Well, at face value it’s just a vase, but it’s the emptiness of the vessel that speaks to our current age and its inherent vacancy.

BEDOUN: It’s blank.

REGLINE: To an untrained eye, it would appear that way, I suppose. But the reality is so much more dense.

BEDOUN: There’s literally nothing on the canvas. I don’t even see any lacquer.

REGLINE: You’re not paying attention. This is a work that needs to be absorbed, truly inhaled with your vision and imagination. It’s a remarkable piece, simply stunning.

BEDOUN: Is it like one of those magic eye things? Should I be trying to stare through it or something?

REGLINE: You needn’t do anything but open your mind to the existential void that sprawls like an abyss just below all of civilization, as is superbly laid bare here.

BEDOUN: You’re sure you shouldn’t be shining a black light on it?

REGLINE: Of course not. We’ve adjusted the track lighting on this end of the gallery specifically to highlight this exhibit.

BEDOUN: Look, I’m not going to pretend to be some kind of art expert, but absolutely anyone could make this. All they have to do is buy the canvas!

REGLINE: This is a work of resplendent detail and technicality! The artist told me it took her more than a year to complete it. I find it quite insulting that you’re so quick to dismiss its creative brilliance.

BEDOUN: You’re making me feel crazy. You say this is an image of a vase that signifies the hollowness of our existence, yet there’s nothing here at all other than a rectangle of white with a card that reads “The Vase of Today” beside it.

REGLINE: Exactly.

BEDOUN: So you’ve hung an everyday object on the wall with no modifications whatsoever, and simply because it has a title, it’s considered art and worthy of praise. I mean, by that logic, I could bring in my kitchen floor mat that my kid spilled grape juice on and call it art. And it would be better than this, because at least some accidental effort went into it. I’d just have to put up a card that reads “PTSD” next to it and make up some ridiculous story about how the stain represents soldiers’ blood and the rug is symbolic of how our veterans are stepped over and forgotten when they return home from wars. It’s absurd.

REGLINE: You have a piece like that? It sounds incredible.

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