betty woke up. the video installation of c c cuthbert, cora the chimp, the contest… all were gone…
rubbing her eyes, she seemed to still be in the room that had contained the clam and oyster photos of m d foster, but the art on the wall had changed…
the wall was now covered with small white plaques, each containing a few words in clear bold letters.
betty looked at the plaques. she could not read them all at once, but the message on each one as she scanned them was short and unmistakable.
get down, bitch
back in the kitchen
on your knees
learn some respect
you naughty girl
those lips for a reason
betty had seen quite enough, and took her widened eyes away from the wall.
she looked around the room. there were no other spectators, but a young woman, dressed in what might have been a guide’s, or guard’s uniform, was placing some brochures on a table betty had not noticed before.
“excuse me,” betty addressed the young woman, “but do you work here?”
“yes, i do,” the young woman replied.
“i realize you just work here,” betty told her, “but i just want to say i find this exhibit terribly, terribly offensive - i can not believe i an actually seeing it.”
the young woman seemed unperturbed by betty’s outburst and handed her one of the little brochures.
betty looked at the brochure which was labeled “the ferocious feminist art of a a adams”.
“i am sorry you feel that way, “ the young woman said to betty, “but if you look at the handout, you will see that a a adams is actually making a statement by portraying - “
but before she could go any further, another young woman, in a similar uniform, appeared and interrupted her.
“laura! we are going to have to shut this one down!”
“oh? and why is that?”
“because the director just found out that a a adams is a hoax. it is a prank played by a couple of frat boys at the university of texas.”
“hmm,” replied laura. “yes, something like this happened before.” she turned to betty. “well, we will be taking these down, i am sorry you had to see them.”
“i am sorry, too,” betty responded. “and i am even sorrier that i will not be able to un-see them. “
and with that betty left the room.
as she did, she could hear the two young women talking behind her , but the only words she thought she could make out were “lawsuit” and “just work here”.