Favorite Installation Artists

Friday, August 28, 2009


Here's a clue. It's not space.

Oh, the joys of medical screening. Medicine is all about prevention, and that is a good thing. We really are living longer because of it and that is a very good thing. So, I was a little puffed up recently from being responsible and going through all those poke and prod tests, as I do every year, and passing with flying colors. Then my Doc said it was time for a colonoscopy and he handed me a prep list for the day before the procedure. Right after I said, "you're going to
put what...where?!".

This is one of those ideas that sound a lot better in principle than in practice.

I decided to stop at the pharmacy for the prep supplies before heading home, just to get used to the idea.

It didn't work.

I felt like Alice, getting smaller and smaller until I could barely see the top of the counter. Can a person actually get all that inside?

Two 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade is one whole GALLON! A G.A.L.L.O.N. I don't like Gatorade, let alone with a bottle of thick, slick goo in it. And, it has to go down in two hours! That is 8 ounces every 15 minutes. Not exactly sippin' speed.
But before we start in on all that liquid, there is the Ducolax to get down.

Five of them. At one time.

Now, that is exactly what I would do to a terrorist.
It was shaping up to be one explosive evening; I could become airborne. And so it began. Take the pills and wait two hours. Just to pass the time, I began to mix the Gatorade and white powder. But, WAIT! The Gatorade is red and I can't drink anything red! I have to drive to the corner pharmacy. Oh, no,....no, no...... not a good idea. I just downed 5 Ducolax. Ho. Leee. Shit. But, I do it. Ran in, grabbed the Gatorade, slapped cash down on the counter, looked impatient, a little crazed....told the woman to take the money...take the money.....TAKE THE MONEY!!!!!!!!

So now its time for the Gatorade. And more Gatorade.......eeeewwwww. And then, nothing. I'm getting nothing. Walking, walking, bending, walking...nothing. Really, can this stuff turn to cement? Nothing. I'm getting worried, wondering if I should call the.....WHOA....SOMETHING!!!! I have to say, sneezing fits in the most inappropriate of places is unsettling and remained that way for some time.
For quite a long, long, time.

I arrived at the Doctor's office early and was processed in record time. All the nurses were smiling and asking questions and being ever so sweet. Of course, they can afford to be; they have the power. Somewhere, behind the brightly painted walls, a thing was lurking. THAT thing was waiting. That big LONG thing. I turned over on my side and waited, then saw..........my friend? She was asking if I needed help getting dressed. Huh? I remember nothing, but among the things I do not remember are conversations I was reported to have had.

Maybe, and maybe Susan's just messing with me. She does that.


OK, I've had some fun with this, but here's the bottom line (excuse the pun). There are no guarantees out there. If you can improve your odds significantly, why wouldn't you?

(What happened above was a head game that I did to myself. The Gatorade wasn't bad, the MiraLax is not slimy, and the Ducolax was not a problem. Things take a while to pass though, so start early. The Doc was fabulous, I don't remember a thing. And nothing hurt. Honestly.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The Heard Museum in Phoenix tells the story of American Indian cultures, with an emphasis on the Southwest, using it's beautifully displayed collection as a window into another world. Throughout the museum's galleries, pedestals with headphones provide oral histories and narratives to place the items in context. Detailed descriptions of how pieces were created illustrate the enormous talent and creativity of the Native Peoples. This signature collection contains both artifacts and current pieces by artisans working today in silver, turquoise, basketry, pottery, bead work and textiles as well as Barry Goldwater's Kachina Dolls gift. All are displayed with the Heard's unmatchable grace and style. See it here.

The real action, however, takes place on the front lawn. Every year, the Heard hosts the World Championship Hoop Dancing Competition, bringing together many tribes and age groups performing one of the living traditions of their Native culture. These images are from the 2007 Competition. Hoops are made from plastic tubing wrapped to match the dancer's costume, which incorporates local color and design. The hoops are small, no larger than 30", and are symbolic, telling us that life is a never ending circle, with no beginning and no end. Hoop dancing is a form of Native American storytelling in which a solo dancer forms animal shapes such as a snake, eagle or coyote, and ending with the shape of the world using many hoops over the body to show that all life is interconnected.

These performances require superior athleticism and skill. The dancers use as many as 30 hoops that connect along their arms and legs to form wings or tails. All the while, they execute intricate footsteps in sync to the beat of many drums and chanting voices that speed towards an ending crescendo where the dancer is a blur of color and movement. It is absolutely mesmerizing. A recent Hoop Dancing Champion, Dallas Chief Eagle, a Lakota Sioux whose signature dance is called "Nurturing the Tree of Life" can be seen here. Another proponent of his Native culture, Kevin Locke can be seen at www.kevinlocke.com and also here dancing.

As the dancers move, their faces shine with pure joy. It is a sight to behold.