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December 27, 2005

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Forbidden Photo of Bat Project by Huang Pong-Ying
Because photography is prohibited at the Walker Art Center
this is something of a spy photo. Of a spy plane. Well, not a
real spy plane, but a sort of replica of one by Chinese
artist Huang Yong Ping, a retrospective of whose
work was the highlight of today's visit with Sarah,
my sister Marketa and two of  her kids, David and
Emma. Fine art is mostly boring to 9 and 6 year olds,
bur they did like an interactive Q&A oracular dolphin,
Robert Smithson's Mirror with Crushed Shells, and
Jasper Johns' Flags  optical illusion painting where
you stare at it for 20 seconds, then look down at a
dull grey surface where the correct colors appear
due to lingering effect on your eyes. My favorite
piece had to be Charles Ray's Unpainted Sculpture,
a fiberglass reconstruction of a smashed-up Pontiac
Grand Am. What he did was buy a wreck from a yard,
take it apart, cast each individual part, reassemble it,
and paint it flat primer grey. It took two years to make.