Debut

The nice lady who owned the gallery in Fort Worth recommended a restaurant with the best fish tacos. I inquired about vegan options and there was a place 6 minutes away. Crocket said being vegan was making him hungry and I said he should consume more calories. I showed him the menu for the vegan place and he was like: “We have those ingredients.” So we set up a table with the camping stove and guess what I made?

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People walking by asked what I was doing and I said it was sort of like Rirkrit Tiravanija’s “Pad Thai,” because I thought they may have also just viewed the focus on Rickrit at The Modern, and because the gallery personal kept bringing me beer.

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Mid meal, a board member of SITE mentioned he was a board member of SITE. I mentioned that SITE is the source of my income. The board member took us into his home, and gave us an hour or so tour of the art he has collected, which read like a little kid showing off his toys – if the little kid was an older white man who’s toys were the cultural appropriation of a rummage-sale-like medley of global and historical interest.

“These sculptures are from Africa, which I became very interested in after visiting Africa, isn’t weird how they did all these rituals? Anyway, these are their artifacts, I had this wing of the house built to display them.”

There was also Native art, pop-art, contemporary sculpture made by the gallery owner (the board-member’s wife),  a few photographic prints, and a piece by SCUBA.

The last room featured the dog sitting on its chez lounge. I was distracted by a stately marble sculpture of cock and balls in an un-lit room that we never went into. The board member was telling us about the hide of water buffalo that a certain tribe used for battle shields. I wanted to go swimming in the pool I saw outside, and to resist thinking too much about racism/colonialism/patriarchy/veganism. It started pouring rain.

Crocket had passed out upstairs while we were learning about rich white Texas culture, and the board member described the wall of family photos. A number of them featured different eras of dresses, all in highly-posed portraiture of females during their: “debuts.” I didn’t know what that meant, but after I learned I thought it was funny – particularly in the context of the board member painstakingly describing cultural traditions that were foreign to him. Turns out I was the over-privileged pseudo-anthropologist all along.

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