Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Reality vs. Story



I recently saw the new movie, Mr. Holmes, about the one and only Sherlock Holmes and was struck by something Holmes said at one point while talking to a female character. He’s talking to this woman who he’s been hired to investigate, and she confides her unhappiness with her life to him. In response, he contemplates whether it’s better for people to know the truth about things and confront reality, or if it’s better to tell people stories you know they would like to hear. No real conclusion is reached, but putting the question out there got me thinking about my own life. Which would I prefer? And which do I tend to tell other people? Certainly it seems easier to believe in a story and think of it as true, and I’m wondering if perhaps there’s nothing wrong with doing so. Whether one accepts reality or lives within a story, either one becomes reality for that person. So if one does live within a story, what harm does it really do, because it’s still real to that person? As long as doing so doesn’t harm oneself or others, it could be perfectly acceptable. Don’t we all indulge in the in stories anyway? It’s called daydreaming. I myself find myself fluctuating between stories in my head and the reality that I’m confronted with, and it seems to me like we have to reflect on stories to a certain extent just to put up with the reality that surrounds us. So perhaps it’s not either/or, but the necessity for both in order to carry on.

These dance moves…


I saw Future Islands perform at Pitchfork Musical Festival in Chicago recently, and not only can I not get their music out of my head, I also can’t get enough of these dance moves…Samuel T. Herring has the talent and the charisma. It was such a fun show.

For more of these stellar dance moves, check out this full concert posted by NPR Music.

An afternoon at the Barnes



On a recent visit to Philadelphia, my first visit actually, I went to the Barnes Foundation to fulfill my art lover’s instinct. The Barnes is a very unique place where art is displayed in the most unusual way. It’s not like when you walk into the Art Institute of Chicago or the MET in New York City, where the art is hung at eye-level, typically with individual works lined up parallel to one another. At the Barnes, the art is displayed in a way that can be overwhelming, as there may be upwards of 100-200 works in a small room, virtually one on top of the other. Furthermore, there are paintings, drawings, metalworks, and pieces of furniture all mixed together, often from very different time periods and of very different subject matters. The collector and founder of the museum, Albert C. Barnes, was interested in displaying art according to line, texture, and color rather than according artist, time period, or subject matter. The result – the intriguing experience that is a trip to the Barnes.

Not only is the art displayed in an unusual way, there are no didactic labels informing the viewer of the artist, title, or background information. There are, however, booklets in each room that outline what each work is according to a diagram. Referring to the booklets as you browse through the galleries is like embarking upon a scavenger hunt or navigating through a maze. While the booklets are helpful in informing you what the works are, not having didactic labels next to each individual work forces you to evaluate the work based on its aesthetics alone, rather than its prestige and who it’s by. In this way, the works of art are on the same playing field, as opposed to arranged hierarchically based on the artist’s reputation.

A visit to the Barnes is essential if you’re ever in Philly, and I definitely plan on going back the next time I find myself there.