Millions of cascading plastic discs

We went to the National Gallery today to renew our membership and give the girls another exposure to art, in the hope in inspires aesthetic judgment later in their lives. (Well, in the morning we went back to Tiong Bahru Park to get sunburn and then croissants at the bakery, but if that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent.) We didn’t see much of the galleries, but Destroyer did have a good time running in some of the wide open spaces around the exhibition on British imperialist art, and both girls got to try on costumes as part of a “dress your kids up as the generalissimo” installation. 

After that, and after I’d had a bowl of French fries and an inexplicable Coke in the galley café (since when did I start drinking Coke again?) we went to one of the girls’ favourite pieces, the plastic disc game. 

This is a long wall of transparent plastic with holes cut in it and colours behind, and a large selection of coloured acrylic discs. It’s actually a maze and the idea is to push the discs from one end to another without going down a route that ends in a hole, but for the last six months we hadn’t realised that and so the kids just constantly pushed discs into the holes to watch them fall through the structure. Again and again and again. 

Now we’ve learned there’s a right way to experience the artwork, I like it less, because it becomes a (simple) problem to solve, rather than hours of noisy entertainment. The girls haven’t noticed, and continue to drop discs through the holes, again and again and again, worlds without end. 

The heavens opened while we travelled to the gallery, and didn’t show any signs of abating all afternoon, which makes my wife’s sunburn on a rainy day that much more ridiculous. On to the next thing now.


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