Notions of Abstraction - Digital Collage 6" x 6"

When Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il in his infinite wisdom opened a museum dedicated to the decadence of capitalist art, he hand picked gallery guards who he knew would be immune to the supposed charms of the works. It was my good fortune to be one of the chosen few. My comrades and I spent much time practicing reverse marches designed to shield our eyes from the artworks' corrupting influence. The training was strenuous. Many of us fell up the stairs, backed into walls, or landed far from our intended destinations.Still, through diligent repetition we mastered our routines.

The artworks were deemed so potentially dangerous that the names of the works and their creators were withheld. Instead, each of us was assigned a position identified by number only. My duty was to stand to the side of Work #21, the last line of defense against its potential insidiousness. The gallery was laid out as a series of stalls that onlookers passed by. This design served a dual purpose: it partitioned the viewers' experience while at the same time sparing us guards from glimpsing a work on an opposite wall.

The museum opened with much fanfare. That first weekend a steady stream of onlookers stopped and gazed at length upon Work #21.Their interest confounded me. I do not understand how they could focus so much attention on such decadence while I, an emblem of stability and protection was nothing but a mote, an indistinct figure on the periphery of their visual field, mildly distracting, but certainly nothing more.There at my outpost I stood attentive for hours on end, looking at the inscrutible gazes of viewers trying to discern the meaning of the object behind me that so enthralled them. In the end, I developed my own notions of abstraction that due to the nature of my assignment I can share with none.