Saturday, August 16, 2008

Museum Piece

All of the tourist information at the State Fair reminded us that we hadn't yet seen the "Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting" exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, so we stayed in town an extra day to check it out. This may not have been the best use of our time. We were expecting - well, knitting - but mostly got weird modern art that was vaguely textile-inspired and overwhelmingly "ironic," as half the artists were careful to mention.

Some pieces were neat and encouraged some thought. Here's a dress made of nearly 900 cut-up dollar bills - the artist invites you to consider how it is that taking something of value, rendering it worthless, and throwing in a bunch of labor to create something totally useless can make a $20,000 piece. He's got a point there.

Other things were just neat, like these knitted coral snake skins. I kind of like the juxtaposition of fluffy and dangerous, although I don't think that's where the artist was going.

But hey, it's a museum. So the sock had a good time hanging out with the more hoity-toity stuff, pretending to be a museum piece (this is a lace design cut from a single piece of fabric).

And so did I. This is what I thought more of the exhibit would be - a piece on wartime knitting, where the artist invites passers-by to knit pieces to support troops or oppose the Iraq war. The panels in the back are knit depictions of photographs of wartime knitting circles, and the tablecloth has the patterns and some commentary printed on it. So I joined the exhibit and spent a little time knitting Afghans for Afghans while Aaron wandered the rest of the museum.

I didn't see much else, but stopped on the way out to take the sock's picture with the woolly mammoth statues. It may a different kind of wool, but perhaps there's some relationship.

Today we picked up two weeks' worth of held mail, and I had a pleasant surprise waiting for me. My secret pal has been on vacation, and sent me a "thinking of you" package. There's a Sudoku book, a pad of hand-stamped sticky notes with sheep and yarn designs, a cute little sheep figurine, and a postcard which suggests her vacation had precious little to do with knitting but was probably a lot of fun. Thanks, pal, and I hope you had a really good time!


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