Color photograph of a light skinned woman with dark wavy hair standing in a fenced-in backyard; she stands facing left with her hands on her hips, looking directly into the camera

Robyn Schiff

Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, a gift of the Drue Heinz Trust
10 febbraio–14 luglio 2023
Professor, Department of English, Emory University
Titolo del progetto
Information Desk: An Epic
Descrizione del progetto

Information Desk: An Epic is a two-volume poem that draws on my experience fielding questions at the information desk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I was a staff member two decades ago when I was in my twenties. Both a work of art history and a coming-of-age story set within a museum, the poem is as concerned with the violent forces of power and world history that drive the museum’s encyclopedic collecting as it is with the making and meanings of art. Meandering through the physical building and time traveling through the art it stores, Information Desk: An Epic contemplates the political complexities of making, collecting, possessing, and representing, while it explores the spiritual meanings wrought by aesthetics in a narrative capacious and capricious enough to also relate the private dramas behind that central desk, in the many exhibition halls, and in employee-only corners, closets, private offices, and dining rooms.