I recently visited Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, a museum dedicated to arts and history. I went with two friends: one who had no trouble keeping up the natural pace of artifact appreciation, and the other who was painstakingly cataloging each exhibit on his camera so that he could recall each piece later on. Needless to say, we soon got farther ahead of him than we’d anticipated.
I chose to retrace our footsteps to find him, no mean feat as I assure you, the spaces between the spotlit exhibits were as black as night. But lo! A tall figure in a dark t-shirt stood hunched, examining an aquamanile (animal jug-type sculpture, in this case a lion) with his camera. I saw the camera finding focus on its LCD display and I knew I had but seconds to act. In two swift strides I was at his side, I thrust my finger deep into the side of the lion’s gaping mouth, roaring lion-like as I did it; the synergy of the moment felt euphoric. The camera shutter immediately clicked, and my inappropriate interference had been immortalised forever in the camera’s memory.
I felt rather smug at this point. But in the split second of the moment passing, the figure raised his head and I saw his face illuminate under the spotlight. Alas! It was NOT my friend, but a stranger! He looked dumbfounded: and I very much embarrassed. Speechless, I quickly made my escape back into the blackness between the exhibits.
I must have appeared to be some kind of crazed photo-bomber, or just frikkin’ mental. My friend was nowhere to be seen either, which made me feel worse. It’s funny when you think about it, that somewhere out there is a photo of an aquamanile with my finger in its mouth.
Just remember to always watch your backs at museums, or some crazy person may spring from the darkness like a ninja and photo-bomb your history coursework.
The intrepid exhibit interferer.