What was … and what might have been
February 3, 2009
Since I’m writing a rant today, I figured I’d use my own photo.
The Freep reports (also Detroit News) that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is expected to announce the disbanding of the Michigan Department of History, Arts & Libraries (HAL) in her State of the State Address tonight at 7 PM.
There’s no word as to how that would impact the libraries, arts organizations and museums that HAL works with, but one can only imagine that it won’t be good. With universities and schools, the State Fair and other state programs facing deep cuts, you can bet that there will be a lot of hand wringing by the Governor and legislators on both sides of the aisle in the days and months to come.
I just want to say that this crisis has been looming for years and as a person with the job of watching Michigan, I’ve watched our elected officials on all sides worry about their political capital, re-election, counting coup on each other and pretty much doing everything but making the hard choices they needed to make. Now, they will face a mountain of unhappy choices and wonder theatrically what they could have done.
My answer? The jobs we elected them to do…
From Easter Island to Africa, from Greenland to New Guinea — David Barr’s work is displayed worldwide. Specializing in project that employ geographic, geometric and geological elements, his Polaris Ring outside the Center’s main entrance often reminds visitors of a modern-day Stonehenge.
Fifty steel columns encircle a five ton kona dolomite boulder. Smaller stones spinout in a spiral pattern on either side.
”The combination of stone and steel represents the interface of prehistoric imagery with man’s technological imagery and strengths,“ Barr notes. The result is a mystical progression of space and volume that draws people toward the facility.
Based on a universal symbol — Polaris, the North Star — viewers are able to stand behind the sculpture’s center stone and look between the two tallest columns to see the star.
”Instead of having to look at the overall sculpture from the outside, I want people to be able to experience if from inside as well,“ he says.
I hope you get a chance to experience this sculpture and this very cool museum.