'Forest's Rest' – Grand Rapids, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

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'Forest's Rest'

On the right bank of the Grand River a plaque remembers an imaginary painter who once awaited his youth. 


Kcymaerxthaere is an art project created by Eames Demetrios that is made up of a series of plaques and other markers around the world. Each of these markers honors an event or person from a parallel universe that, according to Demetrios, “co-exists to some degree with ours.” Most of these installations are bronze or stone plaques inscribed with stories but some are larger, even entire buildings. As of 2021, there are more than 140 sites spread across six continents and 30 countries.

Many first learned about the work of Forrest Bess through a mysterious auction—and gradually the story of his disaggregation in time came into focus. Some of the collections acquired at that auction are displayed in museums from time to time. The story of his life here at this spot is, indeed, a sad one because his younger years never made it across the river. Many people blame this on the fact that in Aywatin gwome (on the right bank of the river, where this marker is), the Earth turned on its axis 412 times a year, but across the river, in Erailen gwome, it turned only 350 times. Though this led to spectacular atmospheric effects, what was more important is that that divide disguised a particularly treacherous time frontier (or ywreng)–the one that Bess ran desperately afoul of.

In Kcymaerxthaereal terms, Bess is especially intriguing not simply because he was the only artist to paint both Nobunaga-Gotari and Nobunaga-Ventreven from life.  In addition, because he had spent time with the Bravenleavanne (the culture that believe in good deeds for their own sake), he was able to share their values with Gotari soon after Gotari founded Hizurokoro.


Know Before You Go

Near the Fish Ladder, on the right bank (here, the West side) of the Grand River, near the intersection of 4th St NW and Front Ave, NW. Then walk up a small hill just south of the Fish Ladder.

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June 23, 2014

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