Kill Your Romantics

There’s a blockbuster new museum downtown with funding galore that I’ve been selected to be the director of.

It’s not quite solely a contemporary art space and not entirely a natural sciences facility.

Its collections and holdings are on a constant turn about depending on the director; a mixture of private holdings, personal artworks not shown anywhere, and works cannibalized from elsewhere.

Admission is free while the lines stretch around three blocks and the name is tentatively settled on by the board as MOP (Museum of Pain)

The front desk is advised to tell the public that all exhibits deal with the Hyper-Now.

Immediately, there’s a hallway with polaroids, rotary phones, boom boxes, VHS tapes from weddings, a scarf, a ring, a dreadlock, a stroller, a minivan..

Reliquaries & vessels fitting for the exhibit titled Nostalgia Ultra.

After, there’s an interactive section where someone can step into a polaroid as it develops enveloping themselves fully in the process of preserving an archival moment that would otherwise fade.

Past this, lies a section behind glass containing individual pages from the Old Testament. Whole sections have been redacted with an emphasis placed on portions pertaining to “suffering” “martyrs” and “the unrepentant.”

Even further lies the newest exhibit, “Atrocity In Our Time.”

Suspended from the ceiling hang a set of sagging industrial trash bags with limbs protruding and a foul odor emitting with blackish gray labels on each that read John Cusack, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hansen, Ethan Hawke, and Ted Mosby.

At the very bottom level lies the permanent exhibition splitting off in two separate hallways, which reads “Untitled.”

The first presents a free-standing silhouetted shadow animation with different images on the front and the back.

On one side, a wordless narrator reads a letter in a presumably eloquent and exaggerated fashion. The viewer is not privy to the contents of the letter but it is assumed that it is of a romantic nature for as soon as the silhouetted male finishes his reading, a female rushes towards him, kisses him on the lips and embraces him.

On the reverse side of this projection, this same narrator places an assault rifle into his mouth and pulls the trigger.

His frontal lobe and rear cortex are disconnected in the exchange and he presumes to struggle to place them back into his skull while scooping the remaining fragments off the floor.

Beyond this, a simple transparent charcoal drawing of You & Her and all the Others before.

They are a freestanding set of life-size drawings. An overlap of legs and torsos, and messes of hair. Backlit by a harsh neon flickering set of pillars that transfigures them altogether.

Behind them lies a simple household blender with a label reading “Donations.”

A stipulation in the piece indicates that the acting director of the museum must remove his or her vital organs and place them into the blender on a weekly basis in order for the piece to function.

The flesh is ground into fossil fuel which subsequently serves as an energy source for the neon backlighting.

I find myself questioning the sustainability of such a project as another proposal for yet another project comes in:

A permanent installation featuring a film with an endless Summer and a caricature vaguely resembling myself set in Downtown LA and starring Joseph Gordon Levitt in a slow motion tempo of 365 days.

Barcelona threatens to pull its funding if such a piece is willed into fruition.

And as the rest of my limbs and organs begin to swirl I yank the cord from the outlet.

Brownish, pink chunks in the blender harden into a cheap cookie format.

All irreverent pieces are composted because the IRS said so.

In fact you can keep the heart you broke
Privatize it
Place it in a tax free storage container off the coast of Panama
It might be worth something to you someday

Because there’ll be a point
where the contemporary becomes a decade ago
where two summers ago becomes four
and when all those seasons become reliquaries of grain in the pyramids.

So set the board of trustees on fire
Drag the chief curator to the guillotine
Blackbag the CFO
Submerge the building in Flint water
and begin again & again & again & again & again & again & again


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