On Dasher and DewDeer

The deer was at the end of the kimonos. Yes, the gorgeous kimono exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I kid you not, as my mom would say.

At first glance it appeared to be a Rudolph-shaped collection of giant soap bubbles or maybe glass beads. It was mildly disturbing, and that was before my son realized there was an actual deer inside the glass. A taxidermied deer. A taxidermied deer covered in artificial crystal glass. Way more than mildly disturbing, and unforgettable.

Thank heaven I don't have to write a report on my visit for a sophomore art history class. I read the artist's statement, and am even more confused. Maybe Santa did not bring him what he wanted when he was a child in Japan. Maybe he never got a sled. Maybe deer ate all the bok choy in his garden.

An MFA student did have to write a criticism of the sculpture, and ended it, "By not giving answers to my many troubling questions Pixcell Deer #24 forms a chasm of worry in my mind that stirs an instinctive reaction—fear." That I understand!

For a couple weeks I couldn't go back to my holiday art project involving photos of dew and rain on plants in the garden where I work. The dewdeer kept popping to mind. Then I had flashbacks to a student who sang, "Dudolph the dead-dosed deindeeh," a decade ago.

Finally got the project finished and it is safe to watch. No taxidermy was involved.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


seana graham said...

It's interesting that we used to be taken as a matter of course to see animals that had been taxidermied at the natural history museum and didn't feel too horrified. Is it something about the glass "skin" that makes it weirder?

Collagemama said...

Good point, Seana. It is definitely the glass. The photo makes the deer much more obvious than it was in our experience. Looking at the individual glass bubbles, we saw just tiny bits that could have been reflections of people in the gallery until we saw it wasn't.