I waited in line for over an hour last Monday evening not including the time driving through the commute. My hope was to see Maya Lin present a lecture at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. When receiving an email in early September about the talk, replied immediately to secure a RSVP. Unfortunately, the free event was sold out. Called the venue and they indicated that an early arrival would guarantee admittance. In addition, the RSVP was only used to see if the event would be popular. Think again!
Maya Lin is a famous artist whose practice includes sculpture, installations, and public art. She designed the moving and elegant Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. A few years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to spend a few hours at the site. It’s thin, stoic, and an appropriate marker for a challenging historical moment.
Being an artist, I’m interested in the intention of one’s practice. Currently at the David Brower Center is Maya Lin’s What is Missing? project dedicated to vanishing life on planet Earth along with sculptures showcasing water’s fragility. Maya Lin: “My work is in part trying to mimic natural formations in the earth, a complex but seemingly very simple phenomena. It is something I seek out in everything.”
Unable to get a seat at the lecture, persons in the “No RSVP” line were allowed to view Lin’s artworks in the lobby while listening to her lecture via a loud audio system. Not a dynamic speaker, she is deliberate and direct in a monotone voice. As a result, opted to listen to Lin clearly via YouTube without the distraction.
My quest to hear a great artist failed. However, knowledge arrives in many forms and not on a special list. Could have left angry being told one thing and experiencing another. The process of seeking information has many twists and turns. In the end, time is my friend and worth the reply.