The art is you.
I went to MOMA with Jane and Cubby to see Pipilotti Rist’s psychedelic, wall-covering video Pour Your Body Out. But I found myself drawn through translucent pink doors to the Here Is Every. exhibit, where I saw Mirror of Light, by Waltercio Caldas.
This was no case of “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” In Caldas’s 6×6’ mirror, reality (captured in a simple black frame) was the only thing to greet us. The one embellishment is a small red light bulb toward the bottom right, more a part of the perceived reflection than of reality.
The mirror connects the person peering into it to others in the room, to the artwork lining the walls, to the body of the museum. Some walked past it without a second glance, others stopped to examine the room through the perspective of the mirror, a few stopped to take photographs of themselves in it, and still others paused to check their reflection or fix their hair. A simple piece of glass, a sheet that was nothing without the world it reflected, with different meanings and uses to everyone.
At the Guggenheim, the idea of “the art is you” applied to all of the pieces in theanyspacewhatever. On December 8 at 4:30 pm, the lights shut off and the words “the event is you” reverberated throughout the museum. I like the idea of us viewers being part of the art, forced to be active. Still, are the artists sometimes using the audience’s participation as an excuse not to put in full effort themselves?
For “among friends,” the whole Haverford community will be a part of the art. Performance is all about relationships and connections—but how do we make them meaningful? We will be leading people to interact with each other in ways they otherwise would not. But where is the boundary between artist and person, performing and living, art and life?
The art is you.
This is the theme of theanyspacewhatever, Here Is Every., “among friends,” and, for the coming months, my life.
At MOMA, I ran into my Haverfriend Larry and a couple of his friends. Wandering the museum together and talking about the pieces, we became a part of each other’s art experience. Among friends.