dark night of the soul

Before it goes on 2 months since I've blogged...

Back in November I had to go to the Danforth Museum to repair a small crack to the Grace angel on display there. The museum staff was kind enough to let me in after hours, along with Libby and Grace who came with their knitting to keep me company.

On our way out they let us into the Ana Maria Pacheco exhibition: Dark Night of the Soul. I knew I'd want to see it, but I didn't at all expect what I found there.

It is one room kept nearly dark, with a stone patio in the middle on which 19 giant carved wooden figures stand in a mysterious grouping. I walked the perimeter around them, glimpsing other figures behind in the shadows, with spotty light catching just a hand, an untied shoe, an agonized face. Our guide told us it was okay to walk onto the patio and through the figures. All three of us hesitated. Though they are not realistic, the shadows, their stilled intensity, their hugeness make them appear to move and be realer then real.

I stepped in feeling dwarfed and intimidated, and followed the direction most of them were looking toward, finally coming to Saint Sebastian with a chest full of arrows. It completely stopped me and filled me with things I couldn't identify. Then I got dizzy and the levelness of the room began to fade. I had to hurry off the patio and out of the room before I fell.

It's been a long time since I've had an experience like that in a museum. It's been a long time since art moved me that much. The exhibition is there until May 18, I hope to go back. It shouldn't be missed.