Head aega! Tallinn Art Museum

Tallinn 087.

They figured out what to do with all the “busts,” centuries’ worth of heads that must have driven curators crazy. Where to place the Caesars, the Plinys, the Napoleons disconcertingly large, the Agamenon, the factitious Homer — the French version of Benjamin Franklin ? Do they belong with the paintings of their periods? Do they belong with the sculpture? Keep all the work of one sculptor together? Or all the representations of one hero?

In Tallinn the heads have been given a room of their own, so they can talk to each other. They line the floor, they rank the walls. There is a perch we spectators can attain on a floor above, looking down into the gallery of busts, from which we can see Marx in conversation with the head of a bird — not the perspective we get from the floor!

And they talk! Yes, strange murmurings erupt from time to time, chirps and burps of history, fragments of wisdom in the Babel of the past, or sometimes the bleat of the barnyard, for the animal kingdom is given equal footing with mankind here, as it should be.

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