If I was of a paranoid frame of mind, I could be forgiven for thinking that my past humiliations were coming back to mock me. After all, what other rational explanation could there be for encountering 20-foot high, modernist scenes of Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa painted on the side of an industrial ESSO oil drum on the remote island of Røst, in the middle of the Norwegian Sea?
Despite appearances to the contrary, I am neither so vain nor so egocentric to think that the world revolves around me to such an extent that all external objects are, in some fashion, related to me, however, in this far-flung island fishing community I cannot help but find myself recalling my trip to Paris earlier on in the year, and inserting myself in the position of the crucial link, which straddles the two locations. Paris/ Røst. Røst/Paris.
Of course, the reality of my current role is nothing more than that of observer. The giant who actually straddles the 2,100-kilometre distance between Paris and Røst is Géricault. The facilitator for this achievement is an American experimental artist called Elle, who created the new artwork as part of the UpNorth (UPN) Festival 2017.
I am torn. Part of me acknowledges my passive insignificance in the observation of this artwork; another part of me acknowledges my pivotal position in the recognition of its origins.
Perhaps that art history qualification has not been entirely for nothing.
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny gives herself a headache by reading too much into unrelated events.
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