My “Impressions of Italy” posts will continue for a while, but I just had to pop this one in to say, if you live anywhere near San Francisco, and have not been to see the Strandbeest at the Exploratorium, go NOW! Take a day off, or go on the weekend with the crowds, but go. They are magnificent and strangely moving in a way I can’t explain.
We’ve all seen videos of Theo Jansen’s Beests walking on the beach, and they are totally mesmerizing to watch. What really surprised me is how different the experience of seeing the Beests in life was. No, an indoor show will never capture that feel of the huge Beests walking among the waves. But the smaller Beests in the show were, I don’t know what it is: surprisingly like real living things perhaps? It was incredible to see how simple the material they are made of was: the yellow pvc tubing, the bottles that formed “stomachs”, and yet when it all comes together it is so much more than a sum of parts…
I was totally fascinated by the feet of the Beests and how they lumbered along, in this endearing, rolling, almost clumsy motion.
I asked so many questions that a volunteer finally brought me a foot from their ‘boneyard’ to hold and look at closely.
We got to walk a Beest, this not-so-big Animaris Ordis Bigfoot. It was a wonderful experience.
The Beests go back home after September the 5th, 2016. I hope you get to see them if you haven’t gone yet!