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robertogreco : andysturdevant   2

In this pet cemetery, the phantoms are all still waiting to please | MinnPost
"Inspecting these epitaphs, you begin to see that people’s relationships with their pets are much different from those with their human relatives. The inscriptions on these headstones seem somehow more personal, more loving, more nakedly yearning and emotional than what you typically see on human headstones. There often are thoughtful and moving elegies on human headstones, but there often is restraint.

Walking through the rows of graves at Memorial Pet Cemetery, you come across outpourings of tender devotion that you never would see expressed so freely with humans: “Faithful.” “Darling.” “Precious.” “Thank you for making us happy.” For a guide dog named Smokey: “Thank you for devoting your life to my welfare and safety.” Something about the relationship with a pet frees people to discuss their love and affection in a more unmediated, expressive way.

Many lingering questions
For all this expressiveness and great love, there also is uncertainty.

There are a lot of “?”s listed as the year of birth, as well as some educated guesses where the specifics weren’t known (“Fall 1959” ventures one). You start to understand how these animals came into their owners’ lives. An impressive many have specific dates of birth, which makes you think either the animals were well-bred, with records and certifications available, or perhaps they were part of the litter of another pet, and the owners marked the specific calendar day. But many of these pets don’t have dates of birth. If Laddie or Buddy or Freckles showed up on your doorstep, you could take them to the vet and make a guess as to their birth date, but it’s otherwise unknown.

The sadder corollary to this is that many graves don’t list dates of death. I come across a grave for Richard and Gaia, born 1955 and 1956 respectively. “Two gallant poodles,” exults the headstone. A photo of the pair is attached, but has faded and cracked into illegibility over the decades. Richard and Gaia’s parents are noted as a colonel and his wife, and immediately, I picture a post-war scene of a military man in full regalia, back from the war, driving a roadster around the suburban streets of Roseville or Richfield or Bloomington, his gallant poodles with their heads out the window, tongues wagging.

But the scene gets sadder when Gaia is considered. Richard died in 1969 at the age of 14 – not bad for a poodle – but we don’t know when Gaia died. Gaia’s date of death is left blank. What happened to Gaia? Is she buried here? Did she outlive the colonel? Did the colonel and his wife bury her elsewhere, or did they forget Gaia entirely? Did they not want to pay for the second engraving? It’s hard to know.

Gaia is not the only pet without a date of death carved into the headstone. There are other phantoms. In my rain-soaked, chill-racked brain, I begin to consider the possibility that, hmm, maybe these pets are still alive, 40 and 50 years old. Maybe they’re a little worse for wear, but still doddering across the den to their food bowls as their masters look on and smile. But I know that’s just denial of the sad fact that pets’ lives are, in human terms, short. If you have a pet as a child, it’s almost guaranteed that the pet will die many, many years before you. Maybe it’s that fleetingness that drives people’s unvarnished affection for these companions in death."
pets  relationships  2014  via:anne  death  epitaphs  companionship  andysturdevant 
may 2014 by robertogreco
phonebook :: threewalls
"PHONEBOOK 3 is a directory of independent art spaces, programming, and projects throughout the United States and a collection of critical essays and practical information written by the people who run them. PHONEBOOK 3 includes artist-run spaces, public programming, unconventional residencies, alternative schools, and community resources; all of the projects that form and support art ecologies across the nation, as well as historical documents marking their past. Featuring essays and documents from Group Material, Renny Pritikin, Susan Sakash, FEAST Brooklyn, Ox-bow, Faheem Majed, Chances Dances, Paul Durica, Dara Greenwald, Amy Franceschini, Pilot TV, Jon Brumit and Sarah Wagner, PLAND, Andy Sturdevant, Robby Herbst and more."
us  nyc  threewalls  kickstarter  artistresidencies  robbyhebst  andysturdevant  pland  sarahwagner  jonbrumit  pilottv  daragreenwald  pauldurica  chancesdances  faheemmajed  feastbrooklyn  susansakash  rennypritikin  groupmaterial  amyfranceschini  ox-bow  resources  communityresources  education  schools  alternativeeducation  alternative  publicprogramming  artist-run  artspaces  art  glvo  residencies  directories  phonebook3 
may 2012 by robertogreco

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