February 03, 2008
Bigger than ourselves
At the Museum of Cool Contemporary Art, part of the fun was looking at the people who were looking at the art. Some would study each work seriously but briefly, while others moved rapidly, stopping only when they came to certain pieces. One couple kept turning to each other with incredulous looks. One young girl with her father was so excited when she came to a Rothko that she yelled to him across the room, disturbing the church-like hush that usually fills the space. The people moving through the museum, whether they were walking up staircases with glass on either side, or lying on black couches that can be seen from above, or moving their bodies through a room filled with crazy sculptures, became part of the art, part of the experience.
The one difficult part about this museum is that the art comes in all kinds of textures, and I find it hard to resist touching rough fabric or shiny metal. I could feel the eyes of the security guards watching me every time I edged near something woven or hammered: they knew I had sticky fingers, just dying to transfer some of my skin oil onto these precious works. Somehow, I managed to restrain myself. I wandered about for hours, without getting kicked out, and even saw only a fraction of the museum. It's a big museum with clean line and big empty spaces — long corridors of space, big white walls of space —room for all the art that hasn't yet been created.
Father and daughter, looking at a Rothko.
Posted by jo(e)