Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maya Lin at the Corcoran Gallery

Tonight I went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art to hear Maya Lin speak about her new exhibit "Systematic Landscapes" which will show there until July 12, 2009. If you live in the DC area or are planning a visit here in the next few weeks, I encourage you to go and see it for yourself - it's amazing and encourages you to look anew upon all which surrounds you.

I've been drawn to Lin's work for years -- the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial (since moving to DC), The Women's Table at Yale University in New Haven, CT (during my time as a student at Yale), "Reading a Garden" at Cleveland Public Library's main branch downtown (near where I grew up) and "Storm King Wavefield" at the Storm King Art Center in NY (one of my favorite and most frequented places on the Eastern seaboard) -- so it was quite a treat to engage with her new work in person and to hear her speak about it.

Lin shared with us that she's always been moved by the land and hoped that each of us would begin to look at the world differently and more expansively after viewing her pieces in the galleries above.

I think what pulls me most to Lin's work is the quiet center which sits in stillness within each of her pieces--the pause within each work that acknowledges your connection to it even though you lack intimacy with it.

Again, I find myself hearing the same message but from still a different teacher...this message of "within"...of "go within"...of "go to the center and sit and know stillness."
Lawrence Weschler wrote in the foreward to "Systematic Landscape":

"I kept finding myself being put in mind: of this, and then that, and then of course right past all of that to the hushed core, the stilled center, into which one eventually always seems to find oneself arriving with her work...with Maya's pieces, how one is always shifting back and forth like that, between the particulate and the seamless, between material facticity and transcendent form--all of that, all of that, all of that stuff, and then grace quite simply abounding" (p. 11, 13).

So, I sit. I know stillness. I wait. I see the answers coming to me but they're still far away on the horizon, like the coming of a dusk or a brilliant dawn. I watch the movement and the shadows as they lengthen and then shorten and anticipate the light which will brighten my face and my soul. And the answers that will come and sit with me in this still space.

In the meantime, I sit.

I know stillness.

I wait.

No comments: