Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Carolyn Drake arrived from Turkey this weekend, and we had some fun- running to the park and then having brunch with some writers she's worked with. I also did some time in the studio. But I found that things weren't flowing easily. I'm still thinking about the Houdini exhibit I saw last Friday at the Jewish Museum. Trying to figure out what I loved the most: The vintage handcuffs? The trunk? The straight jacket? The footage of Houdini hog-tied, hanging upside down over Times Square in a straight jacket is worth the trip alone. It is suggested that this feat may have symbolized the desires of immigrants-- to escape the bonds of the old world, or to escape the war..
I think the symbolism goes even deeper than that, and I think that the inversion of the figure is an important part of the meaning, but I'm not sure how. In art school I made a tarot deck that included the Hanging Man-- a very game friend let me hang him by his feet from a tree in Dolores Park in San Francisco.