With the Amazon Wish List, I was vaguely aware that one can store the data for varioius desired items at the online retailer. But I was fuzzy on the fact that the list can be public. Anyone can log in and find out your heart’s desires.
On the list, you can get glimpses of artists’ bookshelves and CD collections, a look into their personal tastes. What pop artist Ed Ruscha wants is a CD compiled by Hunter S. Thompson that’s no longer in print. Architect Rem Koolhaas — when he isn’t designing buildings like the Wyly Theater — is a Trekkie. DJ Spooky hankers for the DVD of the 1973 espionage-and-black-revolution thriller, The Spook Who Sat By the Door.
That last one is so perfect, you can’t help but laugh — and then wonder whether someone has created a few of these lists as tongue-in-cheek jokes. For instance, novelist Kathy Acker has been dead for 11 years. But she still has a brief but appropriate Amazon wish list. The status of other lists are more tantalizingly uncertain. Take Kara Walker’s list. The artist behind the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s current, must-see, incendiary exhibition of nightmarish-erotic-funny-angry silhouettes wants . . .
. . . an out-of-print book on public sculpture by art critic Harriet Senie and the cooing-sexy soul stylings of D’Angelo on his hit DVD, Brown Sugar.
Again, the selections make me smile — and give me pause, especially when you add the fact that no address has been included where Walker’s gifts can be shipped. Does Kara, the great, bitter devastator of racial and sexual stereotypes, the creator of savage cartoons, really want to curl up with the singer of Voodoo and explicit versions of songs like “Feel Like Makin’ Love”?
But then, her exhibition is called My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. And I have to believe that this Kara Walker’s wish list belongs to the artist we’re talking about — more than this Kara Walker’s wish list, anyway.