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Monday, September 12, 2005

An Imaginary Conversation

Saint Peter: Stanley Brouwn, welcome to heaven!

Stanley Brouwn: What am I doing here?

SP: Well, you were so busy counting how many steps it took you to walk across the city that you didn’t notice that bus speeding down the street.

SB: I was afraid that would happen one day.

SP: I suppose you know the drill, but let me review the process for you anyway. You’re here at the Pearly Gates. You get one chance to show me what you did with your life, and then I make the decision about whether to open them for you or to send you to that other place.


SP: So, I notice that you have a career retrospective on view now at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. Are you happy with the show?

SB: Yeah, I mean, it pretty much covers what I’ve spent the last 45 years of my life doing—the index cards, the measuring of distances, the stainless steel measuring sticks, the counting of steps. I’m really happy with the show. The curators did a fabulous job installing it, and I think it looks great in the galleries. The show pretty much gives you a complete picture of my life's work. My reputation can rest on it. So you’ve seen the show?

SP: I see everything.

SB: I suppose so. OK, then. Go ahead and make your judgment based on that.

SP: Are you sure you want me to do that? I mean, a life spent making index cards and measuring distances? That's not much to show, really, for your final accounting.

SB: You think?

SP: I do. But my records indicate that otherwise you’ve been a pretty good guy. If you ask nicely, I might be willing to give you a mulligan.

stanley brouwn is on view through September 25 at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.

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