In Observance

In Observance

I left work early yesterday to trek over to Boston University’s 808 Gallery to see On Sincerity. It was snowy, wet and cold.

The best thing about the 808 is that you can clearly see inside from the street and train, and as got closer, I realized that lights were on, but it was a little dark.

Oh no, I thought. The first time I’d come by this week the gallery was closed. This time I’d scoured their website before I left work, looking for any hint of a cancellation. Nothing.

My fears were confirmed as I got to the door. The 808 was closed.

Unlike earlier this week, this time it was to observe World AIDS Day. I was frustrated, standing outside of the dimly lit gallery the snowy rain, staring at the simple and pointed sign.

I could see artwork and therefore could technically have somewhat of a stunted experience of it. I had come across town on the green line, expecting to spend the next hour in the privilege of art and ideas. But I was refused it fully because of something (much, much) larger needed to be heeded and honored: World AIDS Day.

I’m glad my schedule was so interrupted. I don’t want to (and would not) compare yesterday’s experience with the 808 Gallery with the consequences of AIDS. However, I am glad that I came to the 808 and was denied, because World AIDS Day needs to be observed through abruption.  It forced me to observe, albeit in a very small way, the loss of life represented every December 1.


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