Museum Musings: Mesa Arts Center

A couple months back I went to the Mesa Arts Center for the Disillusioned exhibit by Dina Goldstein. It’s still running until January 22, 2017, there’s about 8 pieces from two different collections. I ended up really falling in love with some other pieces, I’d love to go back and spend some more time there.

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“Fashion Statement”, Beatrice Coron in collaboration with Elizabeth “Lise” Desole
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“Hindsight”, Corinne Geertsen

This piece was accompanied by the poem “Hindsight” by R.A. LeFebvre.

She was thirteen years of age, 
A young woman,
when hindsight came into her life.
The bubble with her inverted image inside
appeared one day to reduce strife. 

A suitor asked for her hand and be his wife
listing attributes; strength and charm. 
The only careers available to her then, 
being a wife or schoolmarm. 

She sighed and searched 
The hindsight bubble keenly 
looking when joy circled her most. 
Seeing those keys were lacking in the suitor 
she said, "Please, vanish like a ghost."
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“Hindsight”, Corinne Geertsen

This photo collage by Corinne Geertsen is made from vintage photographs and digital editing. I loved almost all of her collection on display, but this was my favorite. I love the whimsical bubble and lush coloring.

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In the Corinne Geertsen room.

The main reason we visited the Mesa Arts Center was to check out the Dina Goldstein exhibit. I was so happy that my favorite piece of her “Fallen Princesses” series was on display.

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“Ariel”, Dina Goldstein
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“Drowning Dress”, Susan Jamison

You know when you see a piece of art and it just makes something in your heart swell up like you’re watching an old romantic film? Maybe it’s just the Art History major in me, but this dress by Susan Jamison just tugged at my heartstrings. It’s inspired by Virginia Woolf’s tragic suicide, she filled her coat pockets with stones and drowned herself in the Ouse River. What I thought were teardrop shaped beads, are actually lead weights. I love the mixture of gauzy, diaphanous fabric and heavy metal.

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“Drowning Dress”, Susan Jamison

Farewell, indeed.

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“Wedding Dress”, Kate Daudy

I saved my favorite piece for last, I gasped when I first saw it. I have an affinity for wedding dresses, I’m not even sure why as I was never a plan-your-dream-wedding-since-infancy kind of girl. My junior year of high school I even wore a vintage wedding dress to prom.

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“Wedding Dress”, Kate Daudy

The dress has red fabric letters pinned to the back of it, according to the label it is the poem “Ode with Lament” by Pablo Nerunda.

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“Wedding Dress”, Kate Daudy

I can’t find the exact translation Daudy used. When I looked up the poem, I found that it’s called “Ode with a Lament” and it’s by Pablo Neruda. I’m not sure if whoever wrote the label made a mistake. Anyway, here’s a slightly different version I found.

Oh girl among the roses, oh pressures of doves,

Oh jail of fish and rose-bushes,

your soul is a bottle full of thirsting salt

and a bell of grapes is your skin.


What a pity that I have nothing to give you except

the nails of my fingers, or eyelashes, or pianos melted by love,

or dreams covered with dust, which gallop like black riders,

dreams full of velocities and misfortunes.


I can only love you with kisses and poppies,

with garlands wet with rain,

my eyes full of ember-red horses and yellow dogs.

I can love you only with waves on the shoulder, 

amid random blows of sulphur, and waters lost in thought, 

swimming against the cemeteries which run in certain rivers

with wet grass growing over the sad plaster tombs, 

swimming across the sunken hearts

and the small pale pages of unburied children.


There is a great deal of death, there are funeral events

in my helpless passions and desolate kisses,

there is water which falls in my head,

whiles my hair grows,

a water like time, a black unchained water,

with a nocturnal voice, with the cry

 of a bird in the rain, with an unending

shadow, a shadow of a wet wing which protects my bones:

while I dress myself, while

endlessly I stare at myself in the mirrors and window-panes,

I hear someone following me, calling me, sobbing,

with a sad voice rotted by time.


You are standing over the earth, full

of teeth and lightning.

You propagate kisses and you kill the ants.

You weep tears of health, of the onion, of the bee,

of the burning alphabet.

You are like a sword, blue and green,

and you undulate to the touch like a river.


Come to my soul dressed in white, with a branch

of bleeding roses and goblets of ashes,

come with an apple and horse,

for there is a dark room with a broken candelabra,

a few twisted chairs waiting for winter,

and a dead dove, with a number.

 

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The label has the same translation that’s pinned to the dress.

The poem is translated from Spanish, Pablo Neruda was from Chile. As a native Spanish speaker it was interesting to read the original poem in Spanish and see the differences in many of the English translations I read.

 

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