DAILY PHOTO: Balinese Art
echoed Buddhas, each as still as the last, focus on nothing
On the southwestern outskirts of Budapest, there’s a park that collects many of the statues from the Communist era. These are statues that were in prominent locations during the Cold War, but were too historic to destroy. This, the Republic of Councils Monument, is one of the most impressive, and was at XIV. Dózsa György Utca (Felvonulási tér, near the City Park [Varosliget.])
At any rate, the Memento Park is where Communist art goes to be kitsch.
What’s interesting about this batch of statues at Nek Chand is that nobody wears shorts in India (let alone short shorts.) If you see someone in shorts, you can be certain they’re either a tourist or part of a very specific demographic (i.e. 20 to 25 year olds of middle / upper-middle class backgrounds whose all-time favorite television show is either “Big Bang Theory” or “How I Met Your Mother.”)
Incidentally, the Nek Chand Rock Garden is the highlight of a trip to Chandigarh, and shouldn’t be missed. It’s a labyrinthine park made out of recycled materials. A lot of these materials–particularly for the early phases of the project–came from the villages that had been torn down to make room for the new city. On the order of fifty villages were razed so that India’s premier planned city could come to fruition.
My dogs barking, having walked for hours, nearing the point of collapse, searching high and low for that mainstay of metropolitan rest, I spy a cast iron armrest around a corner, but inevitably find the last bench in the city to be occupied by a bronze bench-hog.
“Hey, George Hamilton, why don’t you move it along already.”
Okay, these are old people, but that bench is big enough for at least one more person. Skootch.
When they do leave enough room, they are busy having an intimate moment. Do know how awkward it feels to sit down to something like this?
Oh, I still do it, mind you. Every mother wants more for her son than to be a bus driver. But the place for that talk is at home.
Here’s the worst though, the bench hog who leaves room, but dresses really creepy and puts his arm over the backrest.
“Yes, yes, come and snuggle up to ole Death.”
Here, this guy gives you a little room, but look at the hostile body language: arms crossed, head and torso twisted slightly away. He acts like you’re a filthy, syphilitic leper just for contemplating sitting next to him.
“What makes you so much better than me, Mr. Anton Hansen Tammsaare?… Oh, the fact that they put a statue of you up for eternity in a prominent public park… Touché, well-played, Tammsaare, well-played.”
I’ll save the topic of all the bronze nudists for another occasion. Yes, we get it that you have an awesome tan and metallic abs, but no one wants to see Wee-Willy-Winky while they’re eating their sub sandwich.