Friday, May 13, 2005

the new war museum in ottawa

looks flipped over, its rusted keel
sticking up. what you can't put in
a couple of crosswalks. you have
to DRIVE to the museum. okay okay
calm down. there's a set of rusted
keys in an unpaved parking lot.
they were dropped there in a foot
of snow in february. someone walked
home in a fury. let's step inside.
uneven green tile floors, the ceiling
is a series of odd levels. what
is the intentional effect of that.
remember, it must be intentional.
I pay. the lettering of the admissions
counter is done in MASH stencil.
do you want a combo ticket.
no I do not want a combo ticket.
the cafeteria is called The Mess.
oh god it's gonna be like that.
I'll cut this short because I have
to go to bed. It was a maze in there.
it's meant for wheelchairs and
schoolgroups. of which I'm
neither. there was a beautiful
gatling gun that was unmarked.
a nazi staff car shunted in the
corner. an amazing car. it should
be in the center of a room. it
must weigh five tons. black
and chrome, mercedes, seventeen
feet long. longer. it should
be compared to a volkswagen. okay
I liked the periscopes in the
faux trench. a woman encouraged
her boy to enjoy the spitfire.
look, she said. it's got bombs.
there was a room set off on
its own with the tombstone of
the canadian unknown soldier.
it's a beautiful white tooth
of a stone. it's elevated
so you can see the stain of
dirt where it was sunk in the ground.
but theyve tacked it to a cement
wall. it should be floating in
the middle of the room. it
should be standing on a pillar
of glass, with light blasting it
from the front. it should be in
silhouette, with a huge shadow
cast upon the wall, perhaps a wall
with the map of canada. what this
museum needs is life. I'm sorry,
even the cathedral of silence
where the keel is exposed, is full
of chunky plaster exhibits. there
is no fluid sense of structure.
they stamped my hand and it looked
like a blue tattoo. I noticed this
in the holocaust exhibit. there's
a boutique by the entrance, yes a
gift shop.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a man in a tank top who looks like you --in a B&W photograph called "Liberation of Paris, 1944" --in an exhibit on the first floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Did you have any ancestors in Paris in 1944?

11:41 a.m.  
Anonymous oylander said...

The "nazi staff car" was one of Hitler's personal automobiles. It's stated on the sign beside the vehicle. The tomb of the unknown soldier is a place of solitude, reflection, to remember all those Canadians that died during the wars. The whole area has been designed so that the sunlight will shine on the headstone at 11am every 11 november. The Hall of remembrance holds the original scale statues cast by the sculptor who designed the Vimy Memorial in France in remembrance of those Canadians killed in WW1. Do you have anyone who served or died during a war? It sounds like you are completely oblivious to the museums purpose and design.

10:09 p.m.  

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