Madeline Gins (1941-2014), thank you.

Post published in January, 2014

Madeline GinsI loved Madeline Gins. I loved her as a friend and collaborator, as a sometimes co-conspirator. I loved her as my parent in New York. I loved her as the truly original spirit and intellectual light that she remained until early this morning.

I loved that she was not going to die.

Madeline loved me. I felt this as a wet-nosed 25-year-old boy just arriving in New York. Madeline was the first to take me under her creative wing and give much needed guidance. Arakawa—her great life partner—too, but it was really Madeline who trusted me, for reasons known only to her, with real and important responsibilities. It was Madeline who forced me to become more than I was. It was Madeline who made me face up to my potential. This was one of her many gifts. A gift given to all who ever worked with her.

Madeline GinsAs a result, Madeline stole my then adolescent mind only to give it back to me later (much fuller and more flexible), but she also stole my heart and never gave it back.

Madeline and Arakawa always opened everything. They opened their home. Opened the nature of experience. They opened our young minds to the worlds they were exposing, to the almost childlike joy they took in our life on earth, to the act of perception, to their bold and ever-becoming enterprise of Reversible Destiny.

Madeline Gins, I do not say goodbye today. I only say thank you. Thank you for everything.

A note and follow-up on the video above

In response to Madeline’s suggestion, “if the three of you can show me other ways that helps you, that would be nice, because I’ll put it right in my proposal” my kids proceed to orchestrate an impromptu music making session using the outer walls of the Bioscleave House.

Madeline joined right in.

She can be seen briefly in the following clip, fully there with the kids making a merry noise. And perhaps you can also see, at the end of the clip, how the place is filling them with life, even as they do not fully understand how.

___

For a quick gloss on Madeline, here is her bio from Architizer and also their homage to her and her work. Also, here a rather unemotional New York Times.

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  1. James Heaton says

    A note and follow-up on the video above: In response to Madeline’s suggestion, “if the three of you can show me other ways that is helps you, that would be nice, because I’ll put it right in my proposal” my kids proceed to orchestrate an impromptu music making session using the outer walls of the Bioscleave House.

    Madeline joined right in.

    She can be seen briefly in the following clip, fully there with the kids making a merry noise. And perhaps you can also see, at the end of the clip, how the place is filling them with life, even as they do not fully understand how.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nQt57oTlx8

  2. Etsumi says

    Beautifully written my beaituful friend. As I read your words, I am reminded of a time when we lived in Hawaii. We had taken a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and saw the ruins of cities of the past. The lava had overtaken it. Homes were gone. Families devastated. And yet, if you looked really closely, you could see the start of new life. The green of what were trees at one point, flowers, plants that were starting to fight through the harden black rock. The wonder and amazement of of new life out of tragedy. How could something grow from such devastation. Yet, there was the proof little sprigs of green and white and pink and purple coming up out of the black. This is what I see in your words. This image of a beaituful rainbow of color coming up from the hard black rock of life. Love you much!

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