I was at the CCA tonight for a gallery opening. The topic sounded interesting, the relationship of writing and architecture. The pieces themselves are, well, I don't get most of them. I know that for some people having a showcase of oddly folded men's shirts and an iron is meaningful, but to me it's just shirts - although some of them did have the most amazing pleats. The bit that made me stop and think was the first piece - Peter Eisenman's Notes on Conceptual Architecture, which is an essay with all the text removed except for the footnotes. He is post-modern, a word that makes many people shudder. His last footnote says that a copy of the essay would be sent upon written request. I heard tonight that he didn't get many requests. He was taking the discussion of architecture to the next level - I can appreciate that on an original basis even though the theory of it is lost on me.
As for the event, I was adrift in a sea of pretentious, dark-rimmed eyeglass-wearing poseurs talking about their homosexuality and Derrida, most of them stylish and tragically thin. The eavesdropping at these things is fantastic. Later I was sitting and writing down some notes when a lady sat in the chair next to me. We talked and she was very nice. It was only later that I realised that she was the founder - duh Dina!
But back to the footnotes. As I sat and watched people I wondered what the footnotes of my life might be. If I stripped away the text, what would they contain? My secret desires, the observations and opinions of friends, things that I don't know that might be useful even though they have no practical place in my life? Maybe they would just be things that strangers see when I pass them on the sidewalk, dropped mittens, a frown because I am lost in thought, the sound of my voice as I talk to myself in the supermarket. What would you be able to glean if you looked at just the neatly numbered, properly documented footnotes of me? Who would the reader think I am? How different would they be from my own perceptions of me?