Taylor Davidson · The guard

Alert languidness
by Taylor Davidson · 10 Feb 2013
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY

Sloane and I have a running conversation about whether I would be a good museum guard. Could I stay awake, would I get bored, would I get too annoyed by tourist photographers; could I stay awake?

Today, The Guard at Edward Munch’s “The Scream” seemed a perfect example of the issue I would face. A famous picture getting so much attention. Tourists taking close-up pictures. Counting the time until a shift change. The risk that one person will do something incredibly malicious, or stupendously stupid, with the reality that with luck, nobody will. A state of bored alertness seems to be the key to get through the day.

I think my guard demeanor would be better described as alert languidness. Would that make me a good guard?