our universe: the family photo collage

craft cabin interlude! though most of this year's celebrated whitney biennial left me a bit cold, i really loved the work by berkeley-based conceptual artist lutz bacher, who took 84 illustrations from a vintage astronomy book, mounted each in a little blond wood frame, and placed them throughout the whitney (it felt a bit like a stray cat* was following us through the biennial, appearing in and disappearing from our peripheral vision). i was reminded that i'd been meaning to pick up some old astronomy photos, so i did: ebay hooked me up with a boy scouts of america astronomy merit badge handbook (published in 1965) full of spiral galaxies, naughty-looking nebulae, and little cartoon troop leaders calculating the distance between planets. i decided i wanted to display them in one of those big collage frames everyone had in their upstairs hallways in the eighties; ebay came through for me there as well (i think the frame i bought and repainted had actually been in someone's attic since the eighties). i liked the idea of "family" photos, so i tried to present each comet and gas cloud as if it were a proud grad, or a child with a parent halfway out of the frame, or an uncle in front of a christmas tree. that probably isn't especially apparent in the finished project, but when i squint i see the moon in an argyle sweater vest, and i'm immensely pleased.

*joe called me as i left the office on friday: "there's a friendly little black cat in the yard! what do i do?" the little cat was still there when i got home forty-five minutes later, and it was indeed friendly; it was also pretty clearly a stray, as you could feel its ribs and vertebrae** and it didn't make a move to come inside when we held our building's back door open. several neighbors said they'd seen it before; we brought it food but decided not to bring it in, thinking it maybe didn't want to come inside, and now we feel terrible. what would you have done? (i ask because i'm hoping we'll see it again.)

**it wasn't starving, mind you - it was just alley-cat skinny. qualifying that makes me feel like a monster; come back, little cat!


Rob S. Parham said...

We are allowed to comment? You offered the cat food and shelter. It chose what it wanted. If it comes back, you'll know what to do.

Naurnie said...

I like your frame. I also like that I can see your cute reflection.

kidchamp said...

a reflectionless shot proved impossible, so i decided you get one of Creepy Eye and my gravedigger tee shirt. 

(no really, little cat, please come back.) 

Lisa said...

I love the reflection - it looks as though you are a shooting star, like Mary Poppins.