Ai Weiwei’s Study in Perspective series is both an homage, or at least reference, to the Renaissance preoccupation with (and eventual conquering of) perspective, and a conceptually expatriate finger, empowered by a new “global” perspective, aimed at the homogeny. The series was included in Fuck Off, an exhibition whose disappointingly teen angsty name supposes some indiscernible entity, or “man,” felt inwardly, among the disenchanted. That China can’t see the humor in anything is ironic, given their advancing black skies of coal. When viral marketers of his documentary asked fans to submit similar photos and post them on Twitter and Facebook, they non-rebelliously did. What better way to aim one’s displeasure with the patriarchy than to borrow its ultimate phallic symbol, or so a grouch like me would think. Of Danny DeVito, however, whose giddily narcissistic foot photobombs are wondrous and inviting, I imagine him flipping off the world at large five times simultaneously, or just waving hello. One is more apt to listen when the other is not speaking, so squint with your ears.
In observance of the Boston Marathon bombings, which took place one year ago today, I am linking three things I wrote about it, in order of their publication, by which a narrative of subsequent events may be told.
Finish Line, of the bombings that day; The Brothers Tsarnaev, as political implication; and Great Here of Dzhokhar’s capture.
My parents—as if to get further away from their only child, or to stretch out his loyalty in paying visits—moved deeper inland, the air more voiceless and arid, into a “luxurious resort community” whose eligible residents must be over fifty-five and somewhat loaded. I shy from disclosing any more details about their whereabouts, out of fear that some of my more mentally deranged followers will kidnap me hold me for ransom (my father has a handful of diamond-studded Rolex watches that he might consider exchanging for my head). I now invite those who think I suffer from paranoia, which is basically disappointed narcissism, to imagine me discovering the sidewalks perfectly incremented with outdoor speakers rendered to look like rocks, and to imagine such discreet rocks emitting Michael Bolton’s greatest hits. When a man loves a woman, he impregnates her with his demon seed, which is what my father did so long ago. If love is merely lust with jealousy, then guilt is that with regret. I travel to them by train, often yet not often enough, it feels, a heavy book on my lap. If The Castle is a Kafkian nightmare, this may be his inconsolable nocturnal emission. At the clubhouse, likewise situated atop a grand hill, I order shrimp pasta and verbally “bill it” to my father’s account, simply by uttering his name. In such fashion, I then have five cocktails and stumble home, in near darkness, save the sidewalk lamps guiding my way back. Michael Bolton, his eyes squinting into a void we all share, continues a shallow song born of love, despite, or perhaps in spite of, his sole remaining listener.