Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I usually board the train in Porter Square and you have to go down pretty deep to get to the inbound track. First there is a short escalator from the street where in the morning a man hands out a free daily. On the level below him is where the turnstiles and token booth are and down here another fellow sells the Globe and the Herald, as well as the NY Times for those of us that secretly wish we were in Manhattan. After you go through the turnstiles there are three steep escalators that go down over 100 feet. Once on the platform, the wide arch of the ceiling can be dizzying.
I’ve sat on the wooden bench in this subway terminal in every condition, the whole of my experience seemingly reflected on in this space. The subway station is a liminal space and this is what makes it sacred. All you can do is wait. And it's in the waiting that everything appears, everything you are and long to be takes shape. And then the from the distance you hear the train and as you are pulled out of whatever reverie you were in a return to the feeling of hope or dread or wherever the train is about take you, takes hold and you shuffle off your thinking and board the car. It is then I am often filled with an explicable nostalgia.
One of the most realized contemporary encounters with nostalgia, similar to some freakish longing for Weegee’s Coney Island, is found in the work of Ben Katchor, an artist most known for his comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Medieval Bestiary is an absolutely marvelous Web site dedicated to Medieval art of catolaguing beasts, both real and imagined. The site has searcahble index, a digital collection of texts, and a vast encyclopdia of animals such as the Caladrius ("...an all-white bird that lives in the king's house"), the he-goat ("A beast so hot that its blood dissolves diamond") and the onocentaur ("The upper part is rational; the lower part is exceedingly wild.")