Thursday, January 31, 2008

Curating the Long Goodbye

It's not bad enough that you are reading a blog that already (before this one) has 99 entries labeled 'downsizing.' Yesterday I had this idea....

Now, I have lots of ideas I don't implement from novel and screenplay plots to theme parties to business ventures to art works.

So this idea came from, well, downsizing of course, plus the desire to have some people over to the scene of thirty years of parties and fund raisers and entertainment before we turn over the property to someone else to fill with their stuff and create their own memories.

I thought that it would be interesting to have people over and to curate stuff that is still here with a little 'show catalog.' There would be descriptions of objects, where they came from and where they were (perhaps) going. There would be descriptions of things that happened in the rooms.

Here are a few silly examples:

"This room was added to the original back of the house in 1994. The northern doors from the kitchen were originally windows in a breakfast nook and the southern doors (from the room the owners called the 'bonus' room) was the backyard egress with one door and a small porch. The owners remember their Old English Sheepdog when his eyesight was failing missing the small porch all together in his eagerness to come inside when called. The room features a cathedral beaded ceiling and a built-in media center and built-in surround sound. Equipment is still in place to place antique media like VHS videos, Laser Disks and cassette tapes. The room was used to host benefits and events for Project Transitions, Austin Cabaret Theater, dance companies, Ballet Austin, Austin Lyric Opera and many others. Private events featuring plays, music and frivolity with various guests lists were sprinkled throughout the decades and featured this room for the last fourteen years."

"The Doug Whitfield paintings in this room were purchased at various times in the past. The first two on the left and right of the north wall were purchased at the Fiesta at Laguna Gloria from the artist. Year unknown. The owners plan to try to use some of this art in their small condo. But bids are welcome."
At the parties where we passed out these 'catalogs' we would serve drinks limited to the partially-full bottles of booze and the wine accumulated over the years in the climate-controlled closet we call a cellar. The old-fashioned (original) metal sliding doors in two of the bedrooms and the front of the refrigerator would be used to put up with magnets various ephemera found while going through every box, drawer, closet, nook and cranny of the house. As shown in above scan. Meticulous museum-style descriptions would be in the catalog, of course.
Well, it's the end of the month. And I have duties. So enough of this frivolity. But you get the idea. My mind is full of amusing and unimplemented ideas. Just as my house is full of amusing and underutilized 'stuff.'

3 comments:

Jette said...

I think you would also have to serve food ... from any dusty cans in the back of the pantry that you'd forgotten about some time ago. "Here we have a sprightly 2006 canned pineapple, acquired in a fit of post-Katrina nonperishable-buying in case of emergency."

Linda Ball said...

I was actually thinking of serving fresh food from the store but this is so hilarious it's hard to resist. "There was minimal swelling and denting on the can."

deb said...

Oh gosh, I wasn't going to comment but...

Way back in the '70's (grimace), we were invited to dinner at the home of some new friends. You need to know, that with the exception of two - three years, they spent their lives sailing the world (with a good deal of coverage by Sail magazine). They wrote a book, "Blue Water" (Bob and Nancy Griffith). Anyway, back to dinner. The only thing I remember about that dinner was the dessert. It was a scrumptious apple pie that Nancy made. However, the apples were canned. And the can was over ten years old. And they had found it on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific.
Truly.