Thursday, January 22, 2009

Body Images

Over the weekend my art maven friend Ranya and I saw Marlene Dumas’ retrospective currently showing at the MoMA. Dumas is consequentially my favorite female artist and I had been anticipating the show for over a year.
But what left the lasting impression was not Dumas’ haunting watercolors but the grandiose video installation by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist overflowing the walls of the museum’s central atrium.

A stranger to Rist's work, I was met with a vast, trippy movie of kinetic images of blossoming flowers, corpulent body parts and other indiscernible sensual images from floor to ceiling bursting with such vibrant color I practically swooned from the visual overload. All senses were accosted with the video's soundtrack of an eerie humming sound that was not melodic but strangely soothing nonetheless. Guests were invited to take in the rich exhibit by removing their shoes and laying on a felt orb situated in the center of the room making the whole communal experience even more EST-cultesque (sans the Kool Aid) but enraptured by the sensuality of the film, I stood alone mouth agape, eyes wide as I've always preferred solo phantasms over group trips.

Final Word: A cultural alternative to the daily java jolt in the dead of winter, this hot exhibit will breathe a new life into the otherwise vapid season of depressing Oscar films and meaningless reality shows. Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Heart Out is on display until February 2nd

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