who’s to say?

My mind is not as peaceful as a nun’s might be (as in NYT story to follow). I admit that straight up.

The evidence (as if needed?) came when I was reading Gean Mareno’s critique of Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain in the latest Art in America. He describes the piece as offering “…comforting presence (which) emit(s)… feel-good vibes.” But then, he goes on to bemoan the “… an all too frequent tendency in contemporary art to flee the rumblings of a world that is coming apart at the seams.”


  1. How does he know that this piece is NOT addressing that?
  2. Alternatively, is it possible that this piece might accomplish MORE by not addressing that?

So, in answer to his words, this is the story that shores me up every time I hear something like this (somewhere in my journals I have the real NYT article. But for now, this is more or less what it said):

There is a nunnery that is (was?) located right in the middle of the busiest part of Manhattan. It is completely sealed off. Even food that is delivered comes in through this narrow portal. Inside, the nuns get no news, no interaction with the outside world. Day in day out, they pray.

At the end of the article there was this one sentence:

“Who’s to say that the work these nuns do in deep contemplation has any less effect on our world than all the politics that goes on outside those walls?”

Who’s to say?

Such a good question.