Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Under the Tower Snake

This afternoon I returned to Huang Yong Ping's Tower Snake at the Gladstone Gallery. The only two other visitors were leaving as I entered, so I got to walk all the way up it on my own.

This time, when I reached the top, I was more inclined to keep standing than to sit. Feeling like the eyes of the snake, I looked up, out, down, and around, and saw two men enter the room separately, walk around it, and leave without climbing.

Finally, I did sit, but not for long, because the tilt of the narrowing bamboo walkway made sitting awkward and uncomfortable.

On the way down, looking down, I realized there was another view I had yet to explore. So when I got to the bottom, I looped around the snakes's tail, and walked into the spiraling path between the bamboo supports.

Looking up from below, watching and listening to others climbing, might not have been as thrilling as being on the snake but was moving and lovely in its own way.

Once I reached the center, sitting down felt natural--what the snake wanted me to do.

After a moment, I lay down and enjoyed an amazing view, marred only by fluorescent tubes overhead. I stayed there till four newcomers walked in--they felt like a crowd.

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