A couple Sundays ago, it was so hot that all we could do was sit. When we came to ourselves, we said: Who has air conditioning besides the supermarket? Where can we go to see something interesting or entertaining without wilting?
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is a place of wonder. It’s true that sometimes the wonder takes the form of “What the heck?!” But more often it provokes pondering and admiration. The piece below was both lovely to look at and food for thought. The artist filmed people moving obscurely behind ice. The work suggested ideas to me beyond the idea of ice (although ice itself was worth focusing on that day).
Ice often makes an appearance in art. I think of the First Night (New Year’s Eve) sculptures in Boston. And I remember a whole ice wonderland in St. Paul one January when we lived in Minnesota. Then there is the ice story by a native of that city, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald apparently wanted to cut his ties with his hometown, but St. Paul had other thoughts, naming the theater where “A Prairie Home Companion” plays just for him, and conducting a posthumous reading of “The Great Gatsby” in his honor.
Fitzgerald’s short story “The Ice Palace” is about a southern girl who tries to adjust to the culture of her betrothed’s wintry landscape. She becomes lost and terrified in an ice palace that somehow reflects his family and his nature, and she decides her future should unfold back home in the South. I read that a long time ago, but I recall many meanings for ice in it.
Meanwhile, at the deCordova, the “Ice Cave” video seems to be about the limits of perception, about seeing through a glass darkly.
What are the people doing? we wonder. Even if we knew, would we know what it meant?
Please share your ice images with the blog.
Image from Daniel Phillips’s Ice Cave video is at the Dodge Gallery in New York.