Monday, February 27, 2012

40 Days of Lent: Day Six

This past weekend I went to PS1, a contemporary art space operated by the Museum of Modern Art and located in a former school in Queens. Even if I don't find any of the art particularly interesting I always enjoy walking the all but empty halls of the school. This past Sunday there was an exhibit that consisted of two burritos lying on the floor. I have less and less patience for this kind of "work" as I get older. However, the views of the neighborhood outside the window of this gallery were particularly edifying.

One of the long term exhibits is James Turrell's Meeting, a room with stylish tall benches along the walls and dominated by hole in the ceiling through which, weather permitting, you can sit and watch the color of the sky slowly change. I've been to PS1 many times before but have never seen Meeting.

From one side of the room, the opening revealed the intense blue of the sky. But from the other side you could make out the moon, a white sliver noticeable even in the middle of the afternoon. If you click on the above picture you may be able to see it. It's almost in the center of the frame.

As I was getting ready to leave, an older asian woman and a young couple that were with her came into the room. The woman looked around, confused and seemed to be say "is this it?" (I'm guessing, as she did not speak English). I waved her over to my side of the room and pointed up. When she saw the moon, she smiled and laughed and said (I assuming) "Ah the moon!" in her native tongue. When I left they were still there, staring into the sky.


Pops Gustav said...

One of my favorite memories ever was helping Kenny install a piece for the MOMA QNS opening exhibition. The museum wasn't open to the public yet, and late one night, we took a break to walk around the place and I rounded a corner and was standing, completely alone in a room, mere inches from Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Just me and one of the most famous, beautiful paintings of all time. I almost touched it, but didn't. Still, it was a magical moment.

the hanged man said...

I'm more envious of your private viewing of "Starry Night" than I am of your getting to see the Clash on the "London Calling" tour.

The closest I think I've come would be when I went to the Prado in Madrid an hour or so before they closed and the room with Goya's Black Paintings was all but empty. Just me, a security guard or two and a few other tourists. Yeah, a magic moment.