“The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.” ― Henry Moore
Right at the entrance to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans is this sculpture by Henry Moore.
I like to compare it to another, more abstract, Henry Moore sculptures… one of my favorites here in Dallas, The Dallas Piece, in front of City Hall.
“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Are there ghosts around us… ghosts that are simply moving too fast for us to see? There are definitely live people moving too fast for anyone to see. Maybe a blur. All you feel is a buzz of wasted excitement and maybe a bit of a hot breeze.
And they are gone.
The sculpture in the photograph above is a Henry Moore bronze – Three-Piece No. 3: Vertebrae (Working Model). It is a prequel for Moore’s larger Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae, also known as the Dallas Piece, which sits in a forlorn spot in front of I. M. Pei’s Dallas City Hall.
I’ve always loved that sculpture and have visited it for decades. One especially cool time was when Rachel Harrison added a temporary pink arrow in a sculpture known as Moore to the Pointas part of the Nasher Xchange project.
Moore to the Point (click to enlarge)
Rachel Harrison Moore to the point City Hall Plaza (click to enlarge)
“The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.”
― Henry Moore
Henry Moore, Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 2 Richard Serra, Vortex Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
What interests me is the opportunity for all of us to become something different from what we are, by constructing spaces that contribute something to the experience of who we are.
What we want is not freedom but its appearances. It is for these simulacra that man has always striven. And since freedom, as has been said, is no more than a sensation, what difference is there between being free and believing ourselves free?
Working Model for Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae, by Henry Moore
My Curves Are Not Mad, by Richard Serra
Eve, by Auguste Rodin
There’s a nice stone bench behind the Henry Moore sculpture in the Nasher Sculpture Garden, where you can take a load off of your feet and look out at all the folks wandering around. It’s one of my favorite spots.