Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Smallpox, Water Tower, and Hershey's

What do these items have in common?

Well, they make for a very special day.

Seriously, you ask? Smallpox makes for a special day?

Yep. Add some Chicago history and chocolate and this Mom found herself having one of those perfect parenting days, basking in the enjoyment of my children.

First up for us today was the Museum of Contemporary Art, which upon entering gave me the impression of one of those restaurants that serves really fancy food. Albeit tiny, fancy food. Minimalistic. Food that doesn't cover the plate. I was terrified that the kids would yell out, "So, where's the art?!"

They didn't.

The first piece we saw was bleeding on the wall.

Good start.

Harper brought along her journal and jotted down the name of every piece she found interesting. Zane asked when we would see the toys. Harper would asked, "What's this called?" Zane would ask, "When can we play with the toys?" It was quite humorous.

And then, we hit the mother load.

In one gallery, there was a sculpture in ebony of St. George and the dragon. We literally just read that story. This peaked Zane's interest as he found the dragon's wing, the dragon's beak, the head of George's horse, etc. All the while, Harper was jotting down the names of pieces she found interesting.

Both of them agreed on a favorite piece, Wall's Paper, which was enormous and took up an entire wall. Sorry, no pics allowed.

There was one piece on which they could climb, Convertible Clam Shelter, by Vito Acconci, who became an artist due to his dislike (he went as far as to use the word hatred) of art. One of the reasons for his dislike of art was due to the "no touching" rule. So, he created a piece on which the kids could crawl. It is indeed a huge clam shell with the sound of the ocean playing inside. My two "pearls" (ha) crawled in and had a jolly time until they were told by an employee that they were having too jolly of a time. Hey mister, have you read the artist's bio???!!!

And then there was the piece that Harper almost stepped on, as it just looked like a mess in the middle of the floor. A mess of pills, capsules, a mirror, white powder, a spoon . . . I don't know the name of it. I think I'll call it "Crack on the Floor". Whatever.

Upon turning a corner at one point, we came upon a huge white wall. The bottom corner had some dripping red paint, some type of fuzzy thing and, oh, I don't know, something else I can't remember. What I do remember was Harper's comment about it.

"It makes me feel sick."


The piece was entitled Smallpox.

Other favorites, if you ever get over there, were Garbage Wall, Weed, The Unwearable Dashiki (Zane saw bones in it), and Cage.

We then walked a block to the infamous Water Tower. Did you know it's haunted? Apparently, the guy working the night of the Chicago fire decided to hang himself there rather than burn to death. He haunts it. Kind of ironic, right? As this was the only building left standing after the fire. Had he just hung on (um, wrong phrase), he would have made it out alive.

The Hershey store was next. Free samples. Need I say more.

Then lunch and home. At lunch, Zane had a love fest with mom. It was hugs and kisses the entire time.

Do you think Harper and Zane are enjoying their week so far?

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