Thursday, August 10, 2006

Had a gig that drug me into the Middling City Museum of Science this fine morning, to document a team of scientific types setting into motion the forlorn Foucault pendulum there, an unloved item one can spy when going up and down the terrazzo steps in lieu of the vintage elevator that does not instill confidence.
On my way out I decided I must have a look around as it's been a while since my last visit.
This, Yours Truly believes, is a sad sad building whose architectural magnificence has been stolen in the name of progress - and, obvious lack of funds. The grand entrance reminiscent of The Met in the Shiney Apple, AKAG in this city, and on, is not used. Instead an entrance has been fashioned between the old portion of things scientific and a new build which features a science magnet school. Displays are unloved, dishevelled. There was a good photo exhibit of Tibetan images made at the dawn of the twentieth century when it took about a year to get to this place that no longer exists, really. YT is seeing a parallel. But this exhibit is to coincide with the Dalai Lama visit next month, the nineteenth of September, a grand event.
I spent time with the Marchand wild flower models, and an overview of the dioramas nearby, encased in oak with untouched floors and a gravitas that is precious, elicits memories of Sugimoto work documenting similar showcases. These showcases need some cleaning and some had (I stress had) names of flora and fauna taped to the glass for those who could not make the leap from wall note to showcase easily. Moth. Raccoon. Bear. And more. YT ripped off these small print-outs sometimes taped right in front of a taxidermied face - it seemed disrespectful, not to mention idiotic.
On the way out (mind You I have only passed a small group of children making crafts and some very suspicious handlers, in addition to the scientific types I documented) I noted with special special interest the showcase devoted to two beloved MC primates - Jonesie and Eddie.
I remember them both. There was no showcase devoted to Sampson, who terrorized my dreams when I was very young. Jonesie, I learned, was named for a local milk company. There was the photo documentation of each of them and in front there were their taxidermied selves. Eddie's nameplate had fallen but from the photos behind him you just knew - EDDIE.
One photograph showed Eddie Doing his part for the war effort and shaving a man who appeared to be very dead in a wheelchair. His face was not only lathered but contorted.
Alongside Eddie's memorabilia was a large drywalled area where folks could jot down a fond memory of Eddie and affix it to the wall. From the scribbled penmanship it was obvious that most of the memories were being left by the very young who only knew taxidermied Eddie, not the banana-munching ape so beloved by the freakin' city.
One child wrote this, my favourite.
I don't trust Eddie.
Another wrote
I am looking at Eddie and his eyes are following me.
Your homework assignment is obvious.

Eddie, Sampson, Jonesie Love.

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