The original version of this poem was published in Issue 3 of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary in July 2014
There are abstract objects hanging from the ceiling.
Visitors are encouraged to try and create a meaning
for the objects. To give an example, one idea might
be: ‘This strange collection may represent unimaginable
and unforeseen incidents hovering in wait.’
A recorded voice tells visitors that there are untold tales
in the textures of a painting displayed. The voice says:
‘The secret stories can be excavated and exposed if the layers
are removed, but, as there is often great beauty in ambiguity,
it is fine if visitors would prefer to opt out of this activity.’
There is a large screen, on to which a film montage
of people’s childhoods is projected. If visitors wish,
they can get in touch before they visit, so that footage
of their own childhood can be integrated into the film
to enhance their own personal experience. Some visitors
may not find this a particularly pleasant prospect though,
so please note that it is only optional.
There is a wall, which hundreds of butterflies have been stuck
to and varnished over. There is a designated area where visitors
can catch their own butterfly with a net. Inside this large,
glass container, classical music, such as Brahms, Schubert
Mozart, is played. Many visitors enjoy this activity
and can be seen wreathed in smiles, giggling rapturously,
whilst running around with the net. However, some consider
this to be unbearably cruel and are not quite so enthusiastic.
In central position is a circular tower that, in its vast
circumference, dominates the room. As the tower reaches
right up to the ceiling, visitors are encouraged to use
the ladders provided. Attached to the tower are thousands
of paper scraps bearing words, phrases, proverbs and quotes.
Some are French, like Jean Anouilh’s ‘Rien n’est vrai que
ce qu’on ne dit.’ (It means ‘Nothing is true except
what isn’t said.’) This is often visitors’ favourite part
of the installation and they are known, on occasion, to spend
hours here, their eyes like prison search lights scouring the tower
up and down for more quotes they can relate to in some way -
quotes they will enjoy, quotes that will make them feel happy.