second post at the The Stone (the new and newly notorious New York Times philosophy blog) is about the MoMA exhibit "Sitting with Marina." Most tiresome question you can possibly ask about a modern artwork: what does it mean? Why does it have to mean anything, in any simple "It means ____" way? A bit better: what's it about? (Which could have a very long, inchoate, essentially non-verbal answer.)
Something that strikes me often in art museums, especially when I'm looking at contemporary or conceptual art, is how the museum makes the art. Put "Sitting with Marina" in a subway station and you've got something completely different. The stone floors and the MoMA name are doing a lot here.
What I can't figure out is why the sitters look so sad.
They look like they've just come face to face with the tragic inner essence of all of reality---by sitting across from Marina! This kid is the only one who seems to have kept his wits about him--
His expression seems to say "Um, what's going on here with all this sitting and looking at each other?"