JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 482
"The colossal statue of Liberty, which is to be placed as a pharos in New York Bay, is at last finished." So leads this front-page story of the Scientific American for May 10, 1884 (published in its Supplement section #413). The image reminds me of many that I have seen over the years of familiar objects being found in unfamiliar places. In this case, the statue loomed over the warehouses as it was assembled in the courtyard of Gaget et Gauthier, rue de Chazelles, Paris, prior to its shipment to the United States. (It was shipped in 350 pieces and packed away in 315 crates, bouncing its way to America in the French frigate Isere.) The arm of the statue made an appearance all on its own at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, and then rested at Madison Square in NYC until joined by the rest of the body in 1886. The head of the statue was also separately exhibited in Paris until 1885.
Out-of-context is interesting and dissonant and anything but normal; and anything-but-"normal" is good, seconding the claim of Mme. Curie that "dissymmetry causes phenomena", which means that something happens that is not part of the ordinary, and that in turn means that something new can be discovered.
There are some interesting and purposeful collections of instituted disturbances like this: for example, there's the red Couch Project, a continuation of a photographic odyssey of a large red couch that has been moved many thousands of miles across the world, finding itself in situations entirely unexpected of a piece of furniture. Then too there is Philippe Halsman's The Jump Book (1959), in which he simply asked (famous) people to "jump".
He semi-seriously (probably not seriously at all) interpreted their efforts, fitting their jumps into what he saw as his subject's personality. Peter Ustinov (shown here) tries hard to look as though he is not jumping, while Richard Nixon jumps a very careful, self-conscious and studious jump.
In any event, in spite of liking thee last two works immensely, I prefer the unintentional out-of-context molestation of required memory. (Though anything else that can get me to the not-normal stage of being is welcome.)