Friday, June 27, 2008
Driver's view of Madison's pathetic, dark and oxymoronic subterranean mural
As I previously noted, it's almost impossible to see Madison's oxymoronic subterranean work of public art, entombed as it is under the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Monona Terrace complex. It's hardly public at all, because the only way to view it is from a speeding car, normally zipping along at more than 40mph. But, as I found out through personal experience the other day, there's an exception to this rule: It's called the afternoon rush hour (morning, too, I imagine). I was stuck in traffic directly across from the mural long enough to take my camera out of my briefcase, adjust the exposure for the general murk and contrasty lighting, focus and shoot. This is what I saw.
You might call it the Gridlock Silver Lining for Art Lovers, except that even standing still, the view still isn't all that great. For example, can you find the Capitol in this Richard Haas work of historical nostalgia and postmodern trompe l'oeil? (Hint: It's toward the top, above the left taillight of the car in front.) I'm not sure there's really any hope for this sad, neglected parenthesis in the history of public art in Madison, but a little light on the poor thing might be worth a try.