Today I ended up, most unexpectedly, at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
After a day filled with work, Miss Commentbox and I found ourselves with a couple of free hours this afternoon. Miss C said to me, completely out of the blue, "Let's go to the Museum," and I said "All right," and so we drove in to the city, found a perfect parking spot, and looked at art.
Much of the art made me very very tired. Art usually has that effect on me...I become overwhelmed and bored (simultaneously), my eyes start to water, my legs feel very weak and I crave chocolate. Miss C, however, was in her element, and I found myself following her as she slowly moved from room to room.
Then we reached the fourth floor, and everything changed.
My eyes stopped watering when I saw the phrase "The Pearls Project", and I stopped yawning as soon as I laid my eyes on Simryn Gill's beaded necklaces.
Here is an excerpt quoted directly from the description in the Tate Modern website:
"For Pearls, (2000-06), an ongoing project, Gill asks people to nominate a book or text of personal importance, from which she uses every page as the material to create beads. For instance, a writer and critic from the Philippines proposed The World Atlas; a young London architect chose Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; and a teenage boy in Brisbane selected Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials. With their words, phrases and images now only partially visible, the transformed books are returned to their owners to wear like precious jewels or powerful fetishes."
Have a look at a couple of photographs as well. How fabulous.
The MCA here in Sydney apparently held a raffle for its staff and 4 people were given the opportunity to send a book to Gill and receive a beaded necklace in return. How fabulous.
My imagination has been captured by this Pearls Project. I especially like the way the pearls break the rules of what can and cannot be done to books, and I also like the heartbreaking temptation of wanting to wear your favourite book while also wanting to still be able to read it (intact). I like the idea of finding familiar words or phrases on each bead, or using them as worry-beads, or hanging them in my library and just seeing them there, those jewels.
I am going to do something with this idea of a Pearls Project, but I'm not sure of the details yet. In the meantime....do you have a favourite book? I'm not sure that I have one favourite actually. If Gill offered to make me a necklace would I take her up on the offer? With which book? Would I wear the necklace in public? Would I have second thoughts?
What would you do?