We weren’t planning on stopping in Minneapolis but after 5000+ miles of driving it was time to get our oil changed. It’s difficult to find someone who will service a Rialta but he had found a recommendation online for a shop. So we grabbed a hotel near the garage and rented a car for the day. Honestly we were both a bit tired so we kept it light. We wanted to see the mandatory sculpture park downtown, see Paisley Palace (Prince’s house), and purify ourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. Our first stop though was to the George Floyd Plaza. I’m dedicating a full post to that after this one.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
This is always what you see from B roll shots of the city in travel shows. The cherry on the spoon. Maybe the big blue chicken. I kinda knew what to expect but it was fun to see them up close and there was even a temporary installation of wind chimes that we got to experience. It was blazingly hot so I shadow hopped around the grounds before deciding we were too tired to spend much more time in town. The earlier stop at the George Floyd plaza kind of took it out of us.
I somewhat despise 70’s modernist art. I mean I get it, in context. But I don’t think anything has so divorced the realm of art from ordinary people as bullshit concept modernist art. Hey look it’s a sculpture of a cube. Just a cube. That 3 million dollar painting is just a square of black. Clement Greenberg’s influence over art was toxic. I truly do love abstract expressionism and his championing of Jackson Pollock was well founded. But what that movement evolved into were objects so confounding in their abstraction that without an education on the founding principles appear ridiculous. More than that. It makes people feel stupid for not liking it. It’s a mocking sort of art. That mocking then turns to anger in the viewer who throws up their hands and says, “Art is stupid!”. It doesn’t help that it’s so inoffensive socially and politically that it became the default corporate bullshit art in front of every building downtown. I personally love every style of expression, just for being expression. Color Field Painting, sure, that’s great. But I think the public has really gone through a trauma with modernist art. We need some therapy. I often proposed in college large modern looking sculptures installed in semi-secluded places then leaving bats and other forms of destruction around so that people could smash and destroy them. To turn that hate back into art and expression. Even if they didn’t know it. But that spark, you know. Or maybe that’s just how I feel when I see piles of corporate shit art on the street. It makes me angry.
Purifying ourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka
We tried to go but there was a huge gate and the tours were done for the day. Honestly Paisley Palace looks like a corporate office complex. The only distinguishing feature is a purple Prince Symbol out front, but it was not that large compared to the building. So we kept going until we found Lake Minnetonka. There’s a scene in Purple Rain where Prince tells a woman that he can’t help her until she’s “purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka”. Which is really all I know about it. But hey, you gotta do it, right?
We found a nice shady spot and took our shoes off. It’s a really lovely lake. I guess my feet can be in Prince’s band now.