William Virgil Davis At the Vernissage

We were wandering aimlessly around
a largely empty room, drinks in hand,
making small talk about the mostly
massive constructions that seemed
to litter the white space around them,
when, abruptly, a rather disheveled
man sauntered up to us and asked what
we thought about it all. Without waiting
for an answer, he dropped to his knees
and began to rearrange one of the largest
installations—a huge circular arrangement
of wooden blocks which, we’d assumed,
had been carefully positioned, either by
the artist himself or by the staff, working
from a detailed blueprint. When, twenty
minutes later, the curator introduced the
man as the artist, we were somewhat relieved.
He explained what he had just done and
said that he hoped this new arrangement
would please us more than the earlier one.
We politely nodded and circled the room
once or twice again before going to dinner
to discuss the pros and cons of modern art.


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