The Hamptons: Land of Zero Point Zero Contrasts
August 22, 2009
Hi doll. I’m out in Southampton, where the geraniums are all lipstick red, the dogs are all blow-dried, and the American flags flutter, but do not flap. And where you will be ticketed if you stay in that parking space for longer than 30 minutes. Especially if you are as haggish as moi, in my flip flops, and my straw hat that is old enough to have belonged to Gertrude Jekyll. There ought to be an ordinance against me. Maybe there is!
(The other thing that hurts my feelings about the Hamptons is that the gas stations have prettier gardens than I do. Ouch! I think this is because deer do not like the smell of gasoline. But still, it’s humiliating that the Russian Sage at the Hess station is so much happier than mine.)
But you go girl! You and your unpronounceable, unspellable linguistics! I’m impressed!
Or am I? After all, I am a woman of the world. I have friends whose true names are not even read from left to right. Take Orna. Every day since she moved to this country, Orna has had to spell her own name in an alphabet other than the original Hebrew. Personally, I would find this hard. You are not going to see me emigrating somewhere where I have to learn to spell “Kay” in Cyrillic. I worry about that letter that looks like a P but is not a P. Not having it, I tell you.
Perhaps mutual unorthodox orthography explains why, one evening last winter, Orna was approached by someone named Hrafnhildur Arnardottir). Did they spy each other across a crowded room, and each think about the other, “I bet that one is not named Debbie, either”? Orna was at a concert and Arnardottir, aka “Shoplifter”, famous for her “aimez vous avec fervour” piece, which is pictured here and, I believe, still graces the Museum of Modern Art’s street window, approached her. She was interested, artistically, in Orna. Specifically, in Orna’s hair. You do not see hair like Orna’s everywhere. If you are an artist whose medium is hair, and your work requires hair of a certain scale and magnitude, you can’t be shy. You have to march right up and speak to the hair. You have to sign the hair UP.
For Orna, this was charming, but it was also kind of been there, done that. “So, you want my hair? Take a number.” But, being Orna, she was amused and interested, and agreed to allow her hair to participate in Arnardottir’s work. Orna showed up on the appointed day, not knowing what role her hair would play. A dress had been made specially for her. There was a lovely young woman there. And also her hair. And so it was that two world-class heads of hair were combined into one epic work of art.
Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the Mason-Dixon Knitting premiere presentation of “Siamese Solitude”, co-starring Orna’s hair. Creepy! Arty! More of Arnardottir’s work here and here!
Only in New York, kids. And to be honest, not all that often in New York.