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was visiting the new MoMA recently and I tried to find traces of
where my walk once existed. There is a little bit left of the floor
tiles that look like clouds. There is one section of the escalators.
You can still see the sculpture garden. The two paintings that I
talked about are still there, one in a cabinet and one in the next
room. But most of the places where I did the walk are now just spaces
floating in the air. The narrative was inspired by the theme of the
show, that of artists’ being influenced by museum practice
and the ideas of collecting.
Starting Point Looking
at Charles Willson Peale’s painting. The Artist in His Museum sound
of footsteps walking around on wood floor
Older Man Come in.
Janet He holds back the curtain
to show me his collection – dead animals, birds, pieces of pottery.
I walk into the room, it smells musty. sound of walking in room
Older Man I have
a lock of hair from a woman in the 13th century.
Janet It’s the color
it is. I will show you maps of the stars drawn by an angel. music box,
siren... sound of museum
Janet whispering The
guard is singing. sound of singing guard Try to
follow the sound of my footsteps so that we can stay together.
Janet The floor tiles look like clouds,
it’s like I’m floating when I walk. We’re going to go upstairs.
Janet What do I collect ? Pieces of
conversations, the sunlight on my kitchen table, the feel of his fingers touching
my hair, the smell of my dog’s fur.
Janet Let’s go up the escalator,
to the second floor. It’s a nice view of the garden from here. I can see
two women sitting, talking to each other by the fountain, another person is reading
a book smoking a cigarette. [...]
Janet Let’s go on. Turn to the
right. I really like this section of small paintings in front of us, especially
the ones on the opposite wall. Stop by the Frida Kahlo, the self portrait with
her sitting on a chair in a man’s suit.
sound of someone cutting your hair, walking around you
Janet I cut my hair
short because it was becoming too precious. Because I wanted to test his love.
audio guide heard about Frida Kahlo … the song “I don’t love
you anymore” mixes into conversation of person next to you saying,
Anon Man All you really want is
Janet There’s a man next to me
looking at the painting. Little white hairs on his neck, and at his temples,
wrinkles around his eyes. Now he’s looking at me. Let’s go into the
Audio walk, 12:50
Curated by Kynaston McShine with assistant
curator Lilian Tone for Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect.
The Museum of Modern
Art, New York, USA