You know learn about art.
A brief disclaimer before we begin. I went into this hoping to write a neat little write up of it. I did.
No seriously. Look:
Dear awesome chick I know who works at the Art Museum,
“hey is it cool to bring my camera to the lecture? I thought I’d blog about it so like to snap a few shots.”
See. Ms. Jackson my intentions were good and if I could go back in time to write a more serious one I probably still wouldn’t. What can I say I am who I am? I do want to state for the record no matter what you read below this point (if you read) I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. It was very interesting and well done. Constantine Petridis, curator of African Art, gave the lecture and I mean no disrespect at all.
I mean no disrespect because the first note I have on the actual lecture was this:
He really reminds me of the character from Ghost Busters II. You know Dr. Janosz Poha? Janosz is the guy who gets possessed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian. This guy:
Of course because I kept seeing him as Janosz lead to two continual thoughts running through my head.
1. I can’t possibly include it in my write up. 2. I wonder if I can get him to say “Soon, the city will be mine and Vigo’s… mainly Vigo’s.” after the lecture.
I almost convinced myself to do it too. Think he would have punched me? Anysequel he spoke very eloquently about the piece and was very thoughtful. He added some bits (and attempts) at humor but that really just enforced the thoughts from above. I did also have this other note written:
“he says ‘unit’ a lot. Tee hee.”
Yes tee hee was actually part of the note.On that note let us really dive on in. Ready kiddies?
It of course was held at the amazing Cleveland Museum of Art. Check them out at that link and or follow them on twitter here. It has been under construction for what seems like forever but there are new galleries open and they look awesome. We get a lot of crap from places but I will say this: Our Art Museum is still free so suck on it bitches.
We arrived at about 6:40 and entered the building. Now I knew the lecture but not where it was being given. The wifey asked the gaggle of security people—do you use gaggle for security people?—she asked them where it was. Bear in mind they were old. It went mostly like this (note anything in parenthesis may not have actually happened):
Securityoldie1: Whaa? LECTURE? (In my day a lecture meant you were in trouble!) You know of a LECTURE? (You know lass in my day we walked 100 miles in the snow and broken glass to get to lectures and on time)
Securityoldie2: No I don’t know anything about lectures.
Securityoldie3: I’m not sure. (If I should be hanging out with these fellas) Ask the desk.
Securityoldie1: Oh yes it is in the African Exhibits. (Damn kids)
Securityoldie1-3: (Get off our lawns!)
We ran from them without are baseball because they told us one more time and it was theirs. Maybe our friend can borrow his dad’s Babe Ruth Baseball.
Bam! Dropping a Sandlot reference on you right there. I just cracked a huge knowledge egg on you bitches.
So we go down (yeah baby) and then through the back halls and up the escalator and around the corners. After we left grandma’s house (and back through the woods) we went to the African exhibits. Where there was nobody. We walked around. Found Morgan Freeman posing as a CMA security guy and he said he didn’t know of it. Pointed us back to the African Art section and there we stood perplexed as the clocked ticked on to 7.
[Insert Benny Hill chase scene here.] Incidentally that note in my book made me download the Benny Hill theme as my ringtone. I’m impressionable.
AnyYaketySax as we stood there near the Stool (bahahah) we realized that the dude giving the lecture was up there too. How did we know? Well he told someone
he’s from “The upper vest side” that he knew that they weren’t late because he was the one giving the lecture and that it was downstairs in the lecture hall. Wow a lecture in a lecture hall—who would have thunk? We’re smart!
[Cue Benny Hill chase again]
So the lecture was on African art and specifically: King Kamga’s Leopard Stool.
I’ll pause while you giggle because you just read stool. Oh is that just me? Fine. This is the actual description of the stool (haha I know at least Carissa is laughing with me. High five Carissa!) from their site:
In its homeland in the Cameroon Grassfields this leopard stool is a symbol of high rank and once belonged to the royal treasure. Imported glass beads from Venice and Bohemia were the exclusive property of the king and his retinue, while leopard imagery was reserved for the prestige arts at the royal court. After it was photographed at the feet of its last African owner, King Kamga II of Bandjoun, this stool was brought back by Father Frank Christol to France where it remained hidden in a private collection for more than half a century.
I could use the camera but the room was way too dark without the flash so I made these for you:
Shown: Seats (Bottom) Screen (left) King Kamga’s Stool (bahaha) (in screen) Janosz and Podium (right)
Shown: Screen w/ Cameroon Grassland Map (Left) and Crazy guy (will make an appearance later and his crazy hair (bottom Right)
It was all very interesting. I found it fascinating. He talked about how some of the stuff (such as the Leopard stool) was not originally as highly valued. Apparently the collectors felt the wooden stuff was more expressive than art that was made with beads and etc. I think they are all amazing and very much expressive. The stools made wonderful use of wood, textile and beads.
This one was a traveling stool (though still very large and heavy.) The Leopard was used metaphorically and figuratively (yay redundancy!) The King’s had dual roles both religious and Royal (law). The Leopard represented leadership. The stools were seen as protective as much as useful. The defender would morph into/under the guise of a leopard seeking out trouble and evil doers. Sort of like Darkwing Duck but you not a duck, and nothing like that at all.
Anyletsgetdangerous he kept it short but very informative. He was friendly and answered questions from the audience. The audience wasn’t as big as I had hoped it would be and the questions were mostly lame. This leads me to the crazy hair guy. He was interested in the part where Janosz had mentioned that beaded artifacts weren’t as valuable. He wanted to know if he (the speaker) felt that he (and the CMA) were pioneers in the showing of these artifacts. What he asked was:
“do you feel that because it’s sort of under the radar that you come in like a thief and get the good stuff”
Anyawkwardness he didn’t know how to respond and then went on to explain some of the process of how things get shown and what not. That was interesting too. There are more lectures in the series. If interested check here. I know we’ll be back.
Things in my notes but not mentioned used here:
How it pre dates Christianity (like Joan Rivers)
Boobies! (A slide had a woman with her boobs exposed!)
How a headdress was like the Decepticon Soundwave.
Here is that note: The headdress can be folded in to protect the feathers while not performing. Awesome the headdress is sort of like a Transformer. Yeah like Soundwave except not a robot, no gun and doesn’t turn into a sweet boom box.
The early beads were pretty plain. Just red white and blue.
America Fuck Yeah!
I’ll leave you with some pictures of King Kamga’s Stool:
And then me plotting: