THE BLOG

Blue for Black

03/29/2013 03:06 pm ET | Updated May 28, 2013

I went to the Whitney Museum of Art to partake in one of their latest offerings, Blues For Smoke, a saucy gumbo of Walker, Hammons, Whitten, O'Grady, among many others. The exhibition serves a mostly-brown stew, bubbling over with work tucked into nearly every corner, belying the "state of grace" suggested by The New York Times. But, I am a fussy connoisseur, and a minimalist to boot, so I concede the need for breathing room as a matter of personal taste, and submit to the impulse to overdo it for the underrepresented. With a curatorial approach that includes queer vision and European points of contact, the political nature of leisure felt apparent, as I waxed poetic with the security guard at his exhibition post. The sweet-Jesus-it's-a-fire-red-chapel was our main topic of conversation, but Renee Green's Import/Export Funk Office held some interest as well. Its factory shelving and assortment of books and recordings a pleasant bewilderment that clicked into personalized recognition after a few moments. The folks charged with admonishing patrons or guiding them closer, happen to be mostly-brown too, but it is, as they say, a living. So then, I wonder what becomes of our efforts to make a life? Most of us will not achieve the middleclass stability of our imaginings. That is if we're using a fiscal scale. Even with a fancy education and good intentions, you could find yourself seriously credit indebted, student loaned to the gills and searching for an entry-level position with a part-timer salary. In light of all of this it seems that leisure-as-political-action could supplant baseball as America's pastime. To tame the money hustle mentality that bill collectors and Rick Ross dictate, could, at the very least, improve mental health. Or it could be a cultured "eff you" to the status quo whose main product is convincing the lot of us that sex, drugs and a stylish outfit is enough of a vacation.