We don't give a shit about your gods

By Julia Kissina

 

We argued all morning. Gnilovsky maintained that modern life is simpler than life, for example, for Odysseus. I objected:

“When Odysseus was captured by the Cyclopes, he was surprised that they didn’t honor the gods. ‘We’re much older than your gods. We don’t give a shit about your gods!’ answered the Cyclopes. Modern civilization has returned to the ways of the Cyclopes, we have no standards, no rules, no reference points, and we, too, couldn’t care less about the gods, understand?”

We smoked like chimneys. Gnilovsky stared dreamingly out the window, envious of Homer’s heroes’ adventures. Across the way twinkled the neon sign of a porn shop.

The radio woke up suddenly and a women’s solemn voice made the following announcement:

“Yesterday, in downtown Frankfurt, at the Museum of Modern Art, two more people tragically perished.”

I startled. Gnilovsky, too, it seemed, came out of his reverie.

“Are you sure we heard it right?” he asked in his slightly bitter voice.

We got on the computer. Opened the Internet.

At the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt people disappear or die every day. An exhibition, entitled “Catastrophe,” the most important cultural event of the season, is attracting ever more visitors. Entrance is at your own risk …

Half an hour later, after dropping everything and breathless with impatience, we were approaching the museum.

“Art has become a funfair ride! Just a Disneyland!” muttered Gnilovsky.

In front of the museum, where a crowd had gathered, our path was blocked by two ambulances and a school bus. People were upset and milling about, anxiously silent. Most were women. Smokers were kicked out of the crowd immediately. Someone whined in dissatisfaction that the line was moving too slowly, and there were complaints at the ticket office. Later, a body, covered with a white cloth, was carried out;  general opinion was that the heat had done it.

“Catastrophe” – the exhibition’s banner caught my eye – while, nearby, someone rustled a newspaper. Reporters rushed past the crowd. Enormous cases of television equipment were delivered and the crowd began to stir.

An hour later we reached the ticket office and someone tapped my back.

“Do not under any circumstances enter the room with the installation, or, uhhh … in short, where you see the famous ‘Three Arrows.’”  It’s been in every newspaper.

“Three arrows?”

“It’s a cult thing, dangerous. From the Whitney Museum’s collection. Had it been in the Seventies it would have been regarded as a symbol of protest against the war in Vietnam.”

“Want a lethal dose of art?” the cashier asked poisonously as we paid the entrance fee.

“Seriously?”

Read the rest of this story in the Summer 2016 issue of Artenol. Order yours today

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