The Aesthete and the Amateur Part 3: “Purgatory”
by Heavy Writer, edited by Eleanor Medier
An ongoing series of discussions between an unlikely fictitious couple—a professional art critic and her wise fool truck-driver husband: CONTINUES FROM PART 2.
ChapTer Kronfeld: “Purgatory – Laeuterungsberg”
Eleanor: “Right by ‘House of Mirrors’ looms this enormous work! I can’t help but be distracted. Look how tall it goes—up into the sky! I guess we are to go up these ramps.”
Heavy: “There are skeletons on each level. Rats. If you read the info book, you have nothing else to discover.”
Eleanor: “I disagree—there is something to find on each platform. The skeletons are expressive and dramatic. It has the theme of sin, but it is the interpretation that is interesting.”
Heavy: “Funny how I was thinking of Dante’s Inferno earlier. Here it is— an inferno can have many faces.”
Eleanor: “That reference fits here more.”
Heavy: “I thought you are not into art that tells a story.”
Eleanor: “I never said that, dear. But I don’t think ALL art has to be literal—there is a case to make for pure visual.”
Heavy: “This gives the entire story on a plate so any moron can understand it. Go into any Orthodox church. You’ll find paintings that tell stories like this. I like art that has a riddle—a meaning that you need to look for. This piece is too obvious. It would be better without a manual. Without the signs, I might find different meanings, which would be more fun.”
Eleanor: “Can you pretend you didn’t read them? It holds together as one piece even though it is spread out because the skeletons give it a unity of message—a cohesion. It does work just on its visual strength. The signs are simply additive.”
Heavy: “Of course you say that,because you never admit when I’m right.”
Eleanor grins: “Yes I do, sometimes, dear—when you ARE right.”
Heavy: “I was right today about you not being able to drive a muscle car. Do you listen? No—you almost get killed—not to mention that you wrecked two beautiful cars—and I’m still pissed off.”
Eleanor: “I would like YOU to try driving in high heels!”
Heavy: “I told you: easy on the gas pedal! Well let`s forget about it or I might get trapped here with these skeletons on the ‘Wrath’ level.”
Eleanor: “This ‘Sloth’ level makes me feel hyper. All these punishments are eternal—people’s skeletons last and here they are kept busy!”
Heavy: “The skeletons are pedestrians running away because you drive on the wrong side of the road! Here is my level: ‘Sloth.’ I’m lazy and proud of it! I am so lazy that I would love to review a more conventional art gallery with free champagne and beautiful women in cocktail dresses!”
Eleanor: “So climbing ramps is too much work for you??”
Heavy: “You know I like hiking. But we trade hot women and free champagne for skeletons?!”
Eleanor: “Here you just get to DRINK with skeletons—on the ‘Gluttony’ level. You won’t catch me being gluttonous!! [She looked down at her perfect figure.]
Heavy: ”Why are some skeletons white and others have color? If you ask me, it is because the artist needed some variation. The colors seem to have no meaning.”
Eleanor: “The white skeletons say that those ones lost their uniqueness—the ones with color have individuality.”
Heavy: “So can you tell which one is John and which one is my Uncle Wally?”
Eleanor: “Sure. Uncle Wally is the purple one.”
Heavy: “If Uncle Wally were here, he would throw you off the platform to teach you a lesson about not listening. It must be your lucky day. And, you have an answer for every question, right??”
Eleanor: “Why not? What fun are questions if you don’t offer answers??”
Heavy: “I was just trying to find your place on this installation dear. I guess you go on the ‘Pride’ level—with those guys having big beams on their backs. So while I’ll jog forever, you’ll crawl around under heavy weights [smiles]!
Eleanor: “Do the Sins get worse as you go higher up?”
Heavy: “You judge yourself which level is the worst. The best thing about this installation is the ramp keeps going up and up forever. Well, not forever, there is a limit of 5000 meters in SL.”
Eleanor: “Why is that good? I think the ramps are scary, like I could fall off very easily, and it is a looooooong way down!! Is there an end? A top?”
Heavy: “That the the ramps go on and on makes me think there is more than just the seven levels—that there are more than seven sins.Or maybe if you go through all the levels and keep going up, if you give up your sins, you might ascent to heaven and become an angel.”
Eleanor: “Does that happen? Or do you just keep trying and trying? At the top, if you set the lighting as instructed, it is turbulent like a storm up there. We go higher and higher, yet the clouds remain above us.”
Heavy: “These kinds of tricky questions make me value art—when not everything is told, and there is room for more than just one possibility.”
Eleanor: “Well, I for sure, don’t want to feel there are more sins!”
Heavy: “Definitely there are more than seven!”
Eleanor: “There are? Name number eight then!”
Heavy: “I can give you more examples in a heart beat, but I guess ‘Seven Sins’ are enough for one day.”
••••••••••••••••••••••••••CONTINUES IN PART 4
This series has continued from the previous issue as Eleanor and Heavy continue to make their way through the virtual cultural landscape.
Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to the real world readers.
Comments and opinions are also encouraged.
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© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.