VMFA, Dawoud Bey, shooting film, and Remember The Night”

It’s finally, temporarily, not freezing outside. And the new” kitchen floor looks nice in the daylight. The underlayment does a great job at keeping the cold from the basement away from our bare feet up here.

Getting ready to go to the VMFA, I loaded Tri-X in the Leica M2 for the first time in months! We saw Dawoud Bey’s Elegy” exhibit. The part that grabbed me was the last room, Night Coming Tenderly, Black”, where every print was bathed in darkness to evoke the experience of following the Underground Railroad. These prints were dark in the same way that your eyes start hallucinating shapes in the moonlight. And with a weight like my favorite Rothko piece hanging in the VMFA, you can’t understand it looking at it on a computer screen or printed in a book. You have to be in the same room and it has to be big. On our way out, we sat with a nice staff member who was doing a survey about visitors’ thoughts on the exhibit. I told her that before watching Bey’s film Evergreen”, I’d never seen the plantation cabins where enslaved people lived.

After that, muffins in the Best Café, and then the sculpture garden where Sarah drew and I took photos with the M2. It felt good to work that muscle again after having had so much inertia working against it before. It was just right there waiting all along.

Watched Remember the Night” with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck on Criterion while we ate dinner. We managed to sit still long enough for an entire movie! I wish that whoever digitized it hadn’t de-noised it and cleaned it up so much.

It’s funny how I usually think blogging takes so much energy. For me it actually gives energy when I remember to do it.

February 25, 2024