Death by Party | Kate MacDowell Sculptures
I live in Philly. Fairmount Park is a treasure chest with some of the nicest homes ever built hidden amidst its woods. On one particular day a moment back I was taken away briefly by the beauty of the old trees that have grown in this wondrous stretch of open urban land. I talked to a ragged man that was drinking what smelled like vodka from a gas station convenience store cup and took offense to the fact that I was not offered a sip. I saw a lady on a horse that didn’t stop and acknowledge my existence with at least a minor salute, and judging by how the horse speeded-up as she got closer to me, I presumed she had somewhere urgent to attend. I even saw what appeared to be a young couple in love but I don’t think they were too happy about me sitting in a tree and staring at them as they co-inhabited a tiny parcel of barren land.
As I got to one of the treasured mansions in the woods, I had no doubt in my mind that one of these rooms would be hosting a Master painter putting the final touches on a nude composed of four or five beautiful scantily clad heavy set young women. What I got instead was a Park Ranger directing me to where I could find the water fountain. The kitchen was closed. The house was empty. And even the bathroom had something funky going on with it. I could have sworn that urinals and automatic sinks weren’t around in the 17th Century. They probably didn’t even have liquid pink hand soap back in that time. Seeing all of this poor use of beautiful space frustrated me. I went home and pondered how the City could make these hidden mansions seem more important. I pictured red curtains and an organ. I dreamt about harps and muskets. I settled on Kate MacDowell’s ceramic art collection.
The tongue with spiders on it belongs near any 17th Century Stove. The crocodile, the frogs, the bugs, the dead rats, and any other animal should be spread amongst the well-kept mansion grounds. Each room gets a severed hand to greet you, each threshold a bird, and the front door gets both a heart and a brain. I drew up my plan and hurried back to announce it to the Park Ranger. Unfortunately when I made my return the present Ranger was an unknown fellow I had never seen before and he didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. Disappointed in the fact that my previous appearance was not written about in any kind of Ranger Ledger, I had no problem walking away from this experience with the sheer feeling that from this point forward I’ll only wish good things to happen to those that notice me.
By Lou Cervantes