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MOCA - Cleveland - Simon Evans & what we do / do not want to show

Simon Evans' Letter to the Future (2011), one of the works on display in his Only Words Eaten by Experience Exhibit at MOCA - Cleveland.

Works of art can help us see things that we do not want to see as well as what we want to see. Do not want to see? Well, I do not believe it is normally a bad thing. Maybe an uncomfortable thing at times. You may see what I mean shortly.

I recently had the opportunity to experience Simon Evans' Only Words Eaten by Experience Exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art ( MOCA - Cleveland). It is an exhibit that can honestly state that it is very direct whether you as the observer are ready for it or not. The exhibit starts with a floor plan of Mr Evans' former apartment in Berlin ( Germany) and then shows his perception of Heaven which is extremely structured but bizarre. Many of his works are made of paper, tape, pen, and / or plexiglass and seem like they were just literally written out in a few minutes. However, by the thoughts that they literally and figuratively convey; you know that these definitely took more than a few minutes....try a whole a lifetime and counting. Some of the descriptions in the exhibit describe the works as streams of consciousness. I would agree with that statement. He also displays some written works, as previously mentioned, especially a letter that he writes to the Future after he leaves this world. A very intriguing and thought-provoking exhibit. But, it still left me uncomfortable....

I thought about this a little bit and finally determined why it made me feel uncomfortable. I am not trying to be inappropriate in any way, shape, or form by writing this next statement. The exhibit made me think of sex. When two people decide to engage in sex, they expose themselves to each other completely. There is no way to cover things up or to hide from each other anymore. You are intimate with one another, and you are one with each other. You show not only your physical bodies, but your mind, heart, and soul to that other person. Whatever happens after that, things are different. Hopefully, you all grow more and more close and feel wonderful about it. Hopefully, there is not any hurt that results from this situation. Either way, you showed yourself to that person; and they showed themselves to you. How great it is. However, how uncomfortable it probably is too.

There is not any going back after sex...or this exhibit either. I wonder if Mr. Evans thought about things this way. Or, maybe he figured that to bear one's soul is the ultimate freedom. I do not know him personally. Being honest is not an easy thing to be even if it leads to pleasant things. However uncomfortable and naked it is, we still need to be honest with ourselves as well as others. Simon Evans truly demonstrates this.

Simon Evans' exhibit will be on display at MOCA - Cleveland until Sunday, February 16th. Please visit for more information.

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