2018-08-26 22:52 fiction flash-fiction Benjamin Brood

The Anonymity Museum

The Museum contained only anonymity — anonymous paintings, anonymous sculpture, anonymous photographs. The work was also entirely untitled. Placed next to each exhibit was a small, white placard, tidy with sans-serif lettering that said only the following: "Untitled. By Anonymous. Date unknown."

Patrons strolled through the Museum, with headphones over their ears, listening to a recorded tour, delivered by a calm, professional voice, saying things like:

Little is known about this period of the artists life, perhaps it was one of great strife and suffering, as the imagery suggests. And while we can't be certain where or when it was created, this magnificent example certainly must be considered the core of his, or her, or its, oeuvre.

Occasionally new work arrived at the Museum. These were delivered through the back — invariably wrapped in plain paper, fastened with twine, with an attached card that stated the work was "untitled" and so on. These new works were accepted by the Museum staff, entered into the registry and prepared for display. Scholars arrived to closely study the artwork. Their results were often presented at conferences in an awkwardly redundant academic flourish.

One day the Museum began receiving a newer style of work — still anonymous and untitled, but instead of paintings, sculpture, photographs, the work was consistently a 12" by 12" card describing what was meant to be evoked.

"Imagine a lake with a shadowy figure."

"A large round ball made of lint and wood shavings."

"A pair of hairy, human feet."

"A swirling color field that produces nausea."

"Portraits of ants in skirts."

Membership to the Museum increased, it was a new age of expression, critics said.