Automatic writing exercise in response to our time at the Bardo Museum.
I SAW IN THE MUSEUM
I saw patterns, white, intricate, carved into the ceiling, the stucco inlayed with primary coloured enamel, in a very few places. In another room white with more dominant places of pastels colour. I saw a grand room, I saw decorations, rich colours I saw Greco roman works, statues, I saw pictures in mosaic of food, animals, cheery images, a giant lobster held out for us to see by a man on a boat. I saw the little holes where bullets had scooped out the stone, I saw a little mosaic image of a bowl with perspective and shading, muscles, slivers of stone, zodiac signs, I saw women working at the reception, in the cloakroom, I saw a religious quotes from the Bible and Qur’an about fear, painted on the wall.
I SAW IN PHOTOS
I saw a screen, one spot of blood with a trickle running away from it down a white wall. I saw a modern spiraling staircase with around 50 bullet holes in the stone work, I saw a circle burnt on the floor. I saw people at work, cleaning, white work-coats and head scarfs, buckets, cleaning machines, people smiling, I saw an ID card of a Japanese person in a plasctic sleeve being held out to the camera by a Tunisian museum worker. A bullet case in a hand. A room full of well dressed people, laughing, socializing, gold and white togas, children in a performance wearing wreaths.
SHE TOLD ME
She told me that she thought that someone had got away, that there were rumors of an inside job. That she was in a taxi on her way into work, a bit late because she had a hangover, she heard the news, she didn’t believe it. She told me it lasted until 2 oclock. They watched it all from the café we were sitting in, she could see the police moving around the building, making their entrances. She told me the concrete blockades on the road between the café and museum, were painted a few days later, a little man with red and white, pfffft red, pffft white, she said they knew people would be watching. She said the she said she said she said they had no gloves to clean with. She told me they washed human beings away.
It was all intentional, loaded with symbolism; the attack was carefully designed to make the biggest symbolic impact. The space in which a large part of the attack took place was the grand reception hall of a historic ‘ruler.’ It was astounding, stunning, soft light, regal, intricate, a room in which to feel humble and mortal. Cinematic. It was also meters from the parliament, right under their noses. E heard on European radio that the terrorists had attempted to get into the parliament and couldn’t so unplanned, came next door to the museum, portraying them as bumbling, chancers, I think it was fully intentional, a carefully directed attack.
With out really thinking about it, I gave tribute to the museum, my impulse was to really visit it, to be the best visitor I possibly could, to soak up the works, the history and culture and the visit was a tribute.
A PIECE OF ART THAT STANDS OUT
Venus, crowned by two female centaurs, mosaic, 200 AD. The only discovered representation of female centaurs in classical art. Long hair pinned back, small round breasts, like buns, stuck on broad chests, lifting wreaths to be placed on or over Venus.