I was walking through an exhibition of impressionist and postimpressionist art in the Museum of Fine arts of Boston when I had the distinct feeling that a couple nearby was having a spat. I stopped, put on my glasses and checked out my surroundings:
In admirable juxtaposition, two works of art seemed to be acting out a theme that has probably been played hundreds of thousands of times throughout history among homo sapiens sapiens: the moment when he angrily turns around to leave and she remains fixed to the ground, all miffed.
I was facing Degas’ little dancer sculpture. She stretches her arms behind her and pulls her breast out. Behind her, the naked man in Gustave Caillebotte’s oil painting “Man in a bath” appears to be angrily walking away from her.
Let’s imagine some probable dialogues for these scene that has played out over 200 thousand years. We can almost hear them in every language:
He: “I’m outta here!” / she: “Good riddance!”
He: “¡Me largo de aquí!” / she: “¡Pues lárgate!”
He: “मैं यहाँ से बाहर हूँ” / she: “तो बाहर निकलना”
He: “Je me casse d’ici!” / she: “Ben, casse-toi!”
He “Είμαι δω” / she: “Μέχρι να βγει”
He: “Aku keluar dari sini” / she: “jadi keluar”
He: “我离开这里” / she: “然后离开”
I ask myself if they will ever get together again in another exhibit.