Saturday, March 09, 2013
Not for U? 2 of 2
When we looked up the University of Toronto Art Centre it said that it was wheelchair accessible. How I wish they would tell you if you had to go in a separate entrance. I think that if you have to use a back door, or if you have to go by garbage kip, or if you have to go over uneven surfaces, you should be told. I like to make an informed decision. In this case, I wanted to see their exhibit on Peruvian silver, I would have still gone. But, I like to be forewarned.
We got there to find this sign indicated that wheelchair access was round back. What stunned me though was that they didn't use the universal wheelchair symbol, you know the one on parking spaces and bathrooms, and instead chose to use a picture of an old, black, medical looking chair. An empty chair at that! I was stunned. This is an 'art centre.' presumably they know that art has the ability to ennoble and that it has the ability to denigrate. This image is so utterly medical that it speaks of institutions and frailty and ill health. I know few people with disabilities who use these chairs, other than those who have to because they rented one from a medical supply company or they are using it in some kind of public place.
By the time we came in back, up a ramp which was almost completely blocked by a bike attached to it, by the garbage and through a fence that, if Joe wasn't there to open, I would not have been able to get in, I was a bit in a mood. So, I protested. I was told that my feedback was welcome. Yeah. Thanks I suppose.
So I started the tour in a foul frame of mind. Joe was annoyed at me being annoyed. However, we did what we came to do. We saw the show. It was good. We chatted about what we saw, I called Joe to see this, Joe called me to see that, we talked about what we saw and what we read. I enjoy museums. I do. They feed a part of my soul that can get, quickly, undernoursihed. We left in a much better frame of mind.
On the way out the woman who I had complained to asked me to explain to her what I didn't like about the picture of the wheelchair. I told her. She listened. She said she would pass it along. I think she will.
But ... listening and doing are different things aren't they?
I now refuse to be grateful for the one unless the other follows.