When I first saw this “twisted table”, instantly I thought “Wow! That’s exactly how human relationships work!”. Two people sitting at each end of a table talking out their minds. Stating clearly what the think is symbolized by the straight part of the table in front of them. Everything works fine until one word meets the other. The meeting point is a typhoon , a knot , a blend , a rollercoaster , a vicious circle.
What can those two fellows see from where their sitting? First comes their straight (“right”) word , then a mess and the other person somewhere in the middle of this mess. They have this perspective which puts the blame of misunderstanding to the opposite side. The more they insist on their word, the bigger the mess , the smaller seems the person sitting across. “This small man across is responsible for this chaos between us”, both think.
Will those two people finally understand each other?
Will those two people finally understand?
Will people finally understand?
Only if they decide to leave their places and move closer to each other. In other words, only if they are willing not to give up on each other. If they decide to leave their chairs , they will realise where the mess is. The mess is not where the man across them was sitting – as each of them first thought. The mess is in the middle. No one is to blame, but the bloody perspective they had. And when a problem is in the middle, it is easier to solve.
I have no clue whether Michael Beitz had any of those in mind when he was creating “Not Now”. That is the magic of art anyways. But for me “Not Now” shows how things between people can be lost just by them hesitating to try another point of view. Contrary to its name, this piece of art gives the motive to finally say “Now!”.
-by Elli Z_e–