Real Time Vanitas

Real Time Vanitas

From last night’s gallery crawl in the Cultural District.  Here’s what I look like when I’m photographed and, from the installation’s description, “projected in real time on a sand glass timer perfumed with naphthalene.”

You can read more about the project here.

I liked much of Bonadeo’s show at the Wood Street Gallery.  In some ways, his Vanitas project celebrates the idea of impermanence and celebrates (or at least documents) the fact that all meetings are unique and cannot be replicated.  As we left the installation, a friend told me that the Japanese tea ceremony, a ritual celebration of stillness and change, is rooted in the same ideas.

And here we have two different scenes of reflection, each romantic in its own way.  The meeting in Bonadeo’s installation happens with oneself in a dark room in the third floor of a subway terminal in Pittsburgh, tradition acknowledged by the hourglass and the naphthalene.  In Japan, the celebration occurs between two people sitting on a heated floor and driking genmaicha while neighbors listen to Buddhist hip-hop and maglev trains rush by.