Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Times

Sometimes...

You discover that it's not in anyone's best interest to find flaws with loved ones. Because then you must say you're sorry. And mean it!

Sometimes...

You discover you have a friend where you least expected one.

Sometimes...

You call it a victory if you can hold it all in until you walk through your door at the end of the day.

Sometimes...

You end your internship at a museum you've come to respect, with a boss you've come to love and admire.

Sometimes...

You send your resumes out into the wind like so many autumn leaves, completely unsure of where they will land and which ones will pay off.

Sometimes....

Life keeps going on. So you take afternoon walks on the Mall, or laugh with the bus driver, or bake cookies with your roomies and the last of your earthly food supplies.

And at all times...

You must remember who you are, and whose you are.

DC Lyndz, former intern, signing out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A break from precedence... Lindsey goes Cutesy.

For the sake of being well-rounded (because a certain original blogfriend of mine thinks I need to include some nice Mormon-girlish blog topics BESIDES art... sigh. :) I present a recipe I found for exceptional from-scratch whole-wheat bread. Yes, I made bread all by myself, yeast and everything. Now that I am without a tv, a personal computer, an iPod, AND Facebook (the first three not by choice), I spend a lot of time reading, experimenting with cooking, and maybe even a lil dating. Oh, and travelling. I'm going to spend this Memorial Day weekend with friends exploring The South! We're staying with my wonderful family in North Carolina! Oh yes, East Coast, that's right: I think outside the Duck.

Ahem.


Honey Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups white flour
2 tablespoons MORE butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups wheat bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 3 cups white flour. Flour a flat surface and knead until not sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. (I rolled in a ton of flour during this process... don't ask me if that's normal or not. I'm not a cook. I just know it was sticking to my counter like no other, and that my roommate said kneading was important to get it to rise, and I definitely wanted fluffy bread!) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place (like on top of your pre-heated oven!) until doubled.
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 little loaves or two big ones. Place in greased bread pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. Once risen, sprinkle with oats for decoration (ok, that's not in the recipe... but I had to do that. More aesthetically pleasing that way.)
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cool completely... or serve hot like me. Fresh bread's the bestest!

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My bread has fed me for two weeks now! I'm practically Michelle Obama! (Well, with bread, not home-grown veggies).

Since I am fully divesting myself of my inner girl on this post, I guess I'll show you my current secret music video obsession. I know everyone else probably says this, but she's totally ME in high school! Glasses, disdain for excessive hair straightening, love of studying and hoodies, dancing in her room like an idiot, crushes on dreamy men...... Holy crap, I haven't changed much. DON'T JUDGE ME:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTaPVlyEQc8

and did anyone else happen to notice this on Google? This isn't QUITE art, so I think I can get away with it:


First person to name this work gets a prize! I just talked about it... Happy birthday, Mary Cassatt! And kudos, Google, for having a little bit of culture! (And for running the world and being the best email provider EVER! love you!) Ok I think that does it for now. Lindsey's inner girly girl, signing out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ABC's de ME. Et apres moi, le deluge..d'ART.

(It means, ABC's of Me. And after me, the flood... of ART. I'm paraphrasing King Louis XIV of France, you'll see why presently...)

A: Attached or Single: Single

B: Best Friend: Breann Hewitt (since high school!), Jessica Brothers (collegiate)

C: Cake or Pie: PECAN PIE! unless it's really a good funfetti cake...

D: Day of Choice: Sunday, with Saturday as an honorable mention.

E: Essential items: Bowls of cereal, cell phone, BLANKIES!, oil-blotting sheets, metro card, and Money (boo...)

F: Favorite Color: Green and Grey

G: Gummy Bears or Worms: Sour worms!!!

H: Home Town: Las Vegas

I: Indulgences: Overpriced, exotic meals/outings with friends. That's where my money goes. You only live single once, that's my excuse.

J: January or July: July, easy.

K: Kids: Once I find them a choice daddy, yes.

L: Life is incomplete without: The Gospel, my family, sunshine, bodies of water, something to learn about, adventures.

M: Marriage Date: hahahaha- well, my freshman year of college I decided I'd like to be married on 7/7/07. My conciliatory prize was a study abroad to Europe that summer, so I'm not too upset about missing that boat :) I guess I'll shoot for 11/11/11 now.

N: Number of Siblings: 2 little brothers, 2 little sisters

O: Oranges or Apples: Yellow apples. Oranges are a hassle.

P: Phobias: Ledges (I'm not scared of heights, I just get scared being on the edges of things... is there a name for that?)

Q: Quote: I love them. Here's a few:
“Expect nothing. Live frugally/on surprise.” -Alice Walker poem, and
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -Wayne Gretzky, and
"Just heard news. No more bobby sox! Girls dresses to grow decidedly longer! Dignity everywhere." -I found this line in a letter from Minerva Teichert to her little sister in 1946. I don't know why I find it so funny!

R: Reasons to smile: SUMMER APPROACHING, boys with broad shoulders and rakish hair, cute little people on the metro

S: Season: SUMMER! THERE IS NO OTHER.

T: Tag: No. I'm not that girl.

U: Unknown fact about me: I just quit Facebook!!!

V: Vegetarian or Meat Eater: Vegetarian, if only because meat is expensive. When I get back to getting a paycheck, I shall return to being an omnivore.

W: Worst Habit: According to two very irritated brothers, I talk in a shrill baby voice sometimes. I swear I don't know when I'm doing it.

X: X-rays: Multiple head ones from breaking my nose while longboarding and undergoing sinus surgery; also from going to the dentist regularly.

Y: Yummy favorite food: I love sugar so much. I fear diabetes worse than death. :) Movie theater popcorn, peppermint ice cream, and oatmeal cookie dough round out the top 3.

Z: Zodiac sign: Cancer. Go crabs.
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Yes, I picked up an all-about me list from another blog. I normally never complete these... but this one was cute, with its little ABC twist. So there you go.

Art? Ok.

This is a new acquisition by the Hirshhorn, now on display in the Strange Bodies exhibition, which chronicles the various ways modern and contemporary art has manipulated the age-old subject of the human body. The show illustrates how 20th and 21st century artists have changed the body to express their own inner emotions, to diagram some "truth" about the human experience, to portray a political or social wrong perpetrated by and inflicted on humans, or to capture the irreverence and hilarity of modern life, and the changing notions of things like beauty, heroism, and the individual.

Yinka Shonibare MBE (which stands for Member of the British Empire, a title he was recently rewarded). The Age of Enlightenment- Antoine Lavoisier. 2008. Before I tell you what this piece is made out of, just look at it for a second, and take note of what stands out to you. Any questions arise?

"Fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media." That's the official media tag line, as copied from The Age of Enlightenment's label in the gallery, four floors below me. Yinka Shonibare, the artist, who was born in England and raised in Nigeria, likes to re-imagine famous scenes from Western art and history... but he includes certain media and sculptural characteristics that hint at something more than just a portrait, something that reveals his "post-colonial hybrid" outlook on life (his words, not mine). The above work is his 3-D adaption of a famous portrait of the French chemist, politician, and economist named Antoine Lavoisier. The original portrait was painted by the French artist-to-the-aristocratic-stars, Jacques-Louis David, seen here ->

The brightest standout for me, when I first started researching this work back in Januray, was the costume the mannequin is wearing. Turns out, Shonibare's signature style is his use of Dutch wax batik textiles, which you might have mistaken for traditional African garb. Historically, those bright, crazily printed fabrics were originally manufactured in Holland, and shipped for trade to Indonesia. After meeting with low consumer demand there, the fabrics were consequentially exported to (aka dumped on) the poor African colonies, from whence most people assume they originally came. Shonibare replaces the stately fabrics of his aristocratic subjects with the materials his ancestors would have been wearing at the same time, thanks to the domineering economics of European colonialism. Hmm...

Another feature you might notice is the wheelchair. Antoine Lavoisier the chemist was never crippled; Yinka Shonibare likes to give all his historical figures some type of disability, as a shout-out to today's level of awareness for disabilities, and as a call for further accessibility. One month into his first year at art school, you see, Shonibare contracted a rare viral disease that left him paralyzed, and only after three years of physical therapy did he regained use of his right side. He remains disabled to this day, and contracts out the actual sewing of his costumes to a costumier. Learning all of this, I immediately wonder how history might have been changed, and what other stories we might have grown up with, if people with disabilities back then could have had the opportunity to function as equals, like he does now. How would they have changed the world? (I love how this work unfolds as you learn the story.)

The mannequin is headless, another typical feature of Shonibare's tableaux. In the Hirshhorn's work, however, this has special consequence, as Antoine Lavoisier was guillotined in the French Revolution. It becomes to me a marker of violence, of politics, and of the anonymity of crime.

Now, you know me, and how I have strong opinions about modern art. I tell you when I don't like it. I tell my bosses, too. It has been a joy to study and consider this piece, for not only does it speak out in bold, playful, and unassailing terms about race, colonialism, and disabilities, it does so with flair! It's a beautiful, arresting work. I've been waiting all five months of my internship to finally see it (I researched it in January, they didn't display it until last week!). Here's two more examples of his works, I get such a kick out of them:






^The artist himself, with a miniature mock-up of his ship-in-a-bottle, with Dutch wax-print sails, that will occupy the presitgious fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square, outside the National Gallery in London. *Because mom asked for clarification: there are four plinths, or big statue bases, the lie by the big steps that come down from the National Gallery into the Trafalgar Plaza (Yes, the plaza with the lions we tourists love to climb). Every year, they select one British artist to design a work to go on the fourth, empty, plinth. In 2010, Shonibare's giant ship will take over that spot, the first time a black British artist has been given this honor.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MOMS!

Aren't they neat?

I can't write enough about my mom, EVER, and so I won't. I'll save the thoughts in my heart and tell them to her privately. Suffice it to say, I would not, could not be the person I am without her incredible love and sustained example. Thank you, Mom. I love you. And thank you to the other wonderful women in my life who have acted as caring mentors and taught me important life lessons about service, courage, love, and faith: my aunts, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. I consider myself richly blessed in the women department. (If only I could say the same about the other department... hehe. Ahem.) Thank you all. How amazing you are.

I sifted through the Hirshhorn's files for art works bearing the title "Mother." Not one of them fit the bill for the type of indescribable beauty and awe I feel for the position of Mother. The closest my modern art museum got to the warm cuddly aura I was seeking was this little fella, hee hee:



Daughter and Mother. 1959. Bronze. Thanks, Max Ernst. You tried. But that looks like a salt shaker set. I hereby dub the long, slender, beautiful one my mom! When I was little I totally felt like that little stubby one with the dog collar thing around her neck. Little Lindsey, following her mom around, hoping she gets to look like her one day.

No, that just won't do.

A painting that comes closer to what I'm seeking (which my art history friends should all recognize):

Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1893. An American in post-Monet Paris, Mary Cassatt is widely known for her simple, evocative, delightfully patterned pictures of domestic life. Women art historians especially appreciate her for the way she spun the tale of womens' lives in a harmonious, pleasing style (there were other women artists working around that time, just like today, who felt the need to emphasize the stifling effects of child rearing. Tsk.) Incidentally, mom, remember when I taught you about Matisse's picture of his wife, The Green Stripe? And how I told you how she looked like an Asian warrior because all things Japanese were in vogue in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century? This painting by Mary Cassatt illustrates the type of fashionable composition style that artists picked up thanks to the newly opened trade agreements with Asia. From Japanese woodblock prints they learned how to flatten the picture plane and include more things in one scene. To see what I mean, look at how the floor slopes up to meet the wall behind the mom at a rather impossible angle, to the point where it all looks like one shallow space. It makes the sweet tenderness of the scene just go BAM! right in your face. Thanks, Japan!

But that picture still won't do. I need something that lights up my eyes, that I see and go, "YEA! MOMS! THEY'RE AWESOME!"

Behold:


Eric and Ann C_________ at their wedding reception, 198...3? :) One of my most favorite pictures of my parents ever. Dad looks like a Las Vegas magician- "Presto! I just pulled the world's most beautiful woman out of thin air!" and mom delivers what I like to call her "Queen of the Universe Smile." Anyone who's met her probably recognizes it. All at once it communicates to us her modesty, her joy, how she is delighted with her life, the way she always seeks to share her happiness with others, and certainly, her beauty. It's truly a great work of art.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Things That Keep Me Calm

"Have fun in DC. It's the most wild, energetic, intellectual city, and completely obsessed with itself, but for good reason."

My dad told me that shortly before I left. Another friend warned something about "the cold-hearted and over-ambitious" I'd be up against here. Those two phrases still pop up in my mind occasionally as I continue my adventure. Grr.

As a temporary respite for such a prickly day-to-day (ps thank you my friends who encouraged me at the end of last week's post. All women, if I remember correctly. I'm grateful for your support), here are images of Things That Keep Me Calm, because my life feels like anything but at the moment:


The Giver: My current read on the Metro ride to and from work. How have I never read this book?? I've heard of it all my life, but definately never read it! It's beautiful! I love that it's written with such clarity and depth that even a child can grasp its emotional implications. Thank heavens for liberty and agency. And colors.

My Cell Phone (aka my lifeline). Notice the absence of a camera on my baby. Or even an earphone jack. Or a touchscreen. So simple! I'm very prideful about that... although I must admit, I am smitten with envy everytime I dabble with my friends' awesome iPhones, if only for their GPS ability...


The now very familiar curving walls of the Hirshhorn Galleries, where I stroll for hours at a time, acting as a sounding board for visitors while they work through their experiences with modern and contemporary art. "Modern art is a riddle, and there is no one answer." -MM (yes, I've been blog-stalking.)

Any meal eaten with chopsticks. Why? 1. They're usually 10x as aesthetically pleasing as sloppy American take-out, or the blah-nothingness I throw together for myself tiredly at the end of the day 2. Sushi, Asian fusion, and other non-western menu items fill me up without subjecting me to the customary 2500 calorie serving size I'd ingest at Chili's. 3. I miss Sarah Oh. 4. There's something contemplative and peaceful required of you when you eat with chopsticks. No wonder ninjas are so wise.

Sunshine. Makes this desert girl a happy camper. (Haven't seen any for a while, it's been raining for what feels like a week straight... and I STILL don't own an umbrella!)

Self-explanatory. Or is it? My friends, this is the Mormon Temple in DC. We go there to do service, and every tiny aspect of it, be it the clothes we wear (simple white, a great equalizer), the ceremonies we participate in, or the feeling it brings you (clarity, peace) helps bring us closer to our loving God. Truly a little gateway to heaven.


My first love in DC: The metro system. Arched, soft-grid ceilings; a gently lit, hexagon-tiled floor; incredible daily people watching... and the roller-coaster-like rush and boom sounds of the constant influx of speeding trains. It's glorious. PS. the Foggy-Bottom/GWU stop is one I'll frequent a lot when and if I start my Master's in the fall. Hee hee.

Other calming influences without photos:
~ Counting my blessings.
~ Service.
~ Blogging. (D@#% it, I think I'm used to that word! My gosh I used to hate it!)
~ Watching the Caps hockey playoffs from the comfort of a friends' Lovesac.
~ Institute.
~ My big baggy BYU sweats (6 years old and I STILL offer a silent prayer of thanks to the universe everytime I pull them on.)
~ Formalist art. There's nothing to it but lines, colors, and shapes. Google Frank Stella and Morris Louis if you want a peek.