A day of art

I have been so incredibly busy that I have not had time to get my museum fix.  I roped Fred into coming to the Guggenheim and the MOMA with me on Saturday morning. 

If there is one exhibit that is a must to go see, it is the Guggenheim.  This year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim.  They chose Tino Sehgal to do the installation and it is brilliant.  The concept of Sehgal is that a visitor is no longer just a spectator but one that contributes to the installation. 

The museum is empty.  There is not a piece of art in the entire main atrium of the museum.  Even the desk where you usually buy tickets has been moved to outside near the revolving door.  In the middle of the atrium is a couple who is embracing, kissing, having contact.   You can see it from my picture above which I sneaked taking as there is no photography allowed.  Then there are people who come up to you and engage you in conversation.  You begin at the main floor and slowly walk up the circular ramp.  A young girl, maybe 8, comes up to me and asks me "can I walk with you and ask you a question"?  Sure.  She asked me what does progress mean to me.  I replied that progress is about change and moving forward.  Then she drilled down a bit until we came upon another person who she introduced me too and asked if she could walk with me for awhile.  We walked and she continued on the conversation.  Is progress positive or negative.  We talked for awhile about the topic until we came to another person who started off asking if I knew that people who speak 2 languages use more of their brain than a person who only speaks one.  Then we started speaking about speaking other languages and standardized testing and education.  At this point, I dropped off looking for Fred who had no idea that this was part of the entire experience.  I would have continued talking to each person who I was handed off to until we got to the top.

It was fantastic.  First of all, seeing the museum completely empty is an amazing experience.  People who brought their young kids were loving the emptiness of the side pockets where art is usually hung. Although the side rooms have art hanging and an installation of drawings from artists of what they think the Guggenheim should look like inside is worth seeing too.  But the best part is the main exhibit.  Not only is it fascinating to see how people react to the emptiness of the space, you realize how the physical structure of the Guggenheim is a piece of art in itself.  Highly recommended.  A once in a lifetime to see the Guggenheim vacant.

We then went to the MOMA as I have wanted to see both the Tim Burton and Gabriel Orozco exhibits.  Tim Burton was definitely the kid in class who sat in the back, sort of dark, who sat there in his own world doodling in anything he could get his hands on.  The drawings, the paintings, the sculptures are all there.  The exhibit is not only packed with people but packed on the walls.  Very cool stuff.  Orozco is not as packed but worth checking out.  A prolific artist from Mexico who has used photography, painting, drawing and physical structures to show the minimal boundaries of our every day environment. 

So nice to get out and about early Saturday morning to get a little culture.  I was in serious need.  More than anything, I am so happy we got up to the Guggenheim.  An installation that will stay in my mind for a very long time.

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