BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO




BILBAO

Guggenheim Museum

11-30-97


You saw it first on TV, you didn't catch the country,
but saw the gigantic prow, the stack of
cylindrical forms, the reflections
and the light.

It must have been the opening, or the pre-opening
promo, you didn't listen very closely,
but it did seem to resemble it's older
cousin, Guggenheim, where you,
O Devayani,

have walked round and round going down on a ramp,
going down past the art in the quiet well.
But this was more than that: the shimmer,
the glow. The sound bite
passed.

Where is Bilbao?
The Basques? O, Devayni,
it's Spain, not Basqueland.
There was trouble there some years ago.
The Basque regional government, Autonomous Basque Community,

Basque Country --
they call themselves various things --
want cultural prestige, and are willing to gamble
a hundred million dollars, theirs and others,
to get it. You study the story in the Architectural Record:

The Basques persuade Guggenheim and Gehry,
who engages CAITA the computer,
and a formidable conceptual enterprise -- of
boats and blossoms, of sheer sided walls,
undulating curves,

crowns and prows, sleekness and sheerness,
shapes of reactors and rotundas, shapes of
hulls and umbrellas, shapes of precise
corners and pinched curves, bellying walls,
cantilevered,

and multileveled -- manifests. It sits on the Nervion River
being no color, every color,
like a hummingbird -- irridescent --
for its patterned skin is titanium:
colorless rectangles of

silver, gold, blue, brown, the color of sunlight and night,
the color of the water and the sky,
the color of buildings near by,
the color of convex and concave, the color of repetition,
of coherence and

numinous thought
rearing dreams on the river, heaving dreams
up from industrial dirt,
O Devayani,
turning geometry into light.

And you've only seen pictures --
of Museo Guggenheim Bilbao,
Bilbao, Spain, built by the Basques,
Guggenheim, Gehrey, et al --

...the geometry is the light...









Photograph, Copyright © Architectual Record, October, 1997

Poem, Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu





See also

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

under

21st CENTURY ART,C.E. - B.C.

and

The Devayani Poems





OTHER POEMS


The Cattle Have Diamond Bones

Feeding Frenzy

From The Jocasta Poems #15, Blindness

From The Jocasta Poems #16, Death

George Coluzzi

India

I Am Innuit

McDonald Observatory

Palimpsest I, Sphere

Ryoangi

Tibetan Chronicle

Trivial Clews to Cantalloc

The Woman Who Had No Necklaces









BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context