Photos Courtesy: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
From the outside, the bolted metal sphere that currently inhabits a gallery at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) looks like the sort of set-piece that could be found in the lair of a James Bond baddie. Two technicians in white lab coats tend to the machinery: a slow-moving metallic drawer that delivers a single prone human into the bowels of the orb. Once inside, the viewer is blasted with colored lights and gummy digital sounds for 12 minutes, before being released—in a tenderized mental state—back to the dim halls of LACMA. (My session left me with eyes watering and knees wobbling, as if I’d just been teleported in from another dimension.)
Light Reignfall , as this bit of sci-fi is called, was built by James Turrell in 2011. It is one of several experiential installations that comprises “James Turrell: A Retrospective,” the no-holds-barred LACMA exhibition of the artist’s work. With nearly 50 pieces spread out over a sprawling 33,000 square feet of gallery space, the retrospective examines the life-long production of an artist who has drawn equally from the realms of art, architecture, and science to produce a body of work that continually toys with the ways reality is perceived. “We all have prejudice perception—perception that we’ve learned,” Turrell says. “I like to tweak that a little bit.”
Text By: Carolina A. Miranda.
James Turrell at Guggenheim New York will open on June 21st, it will be the artist first exhibition in New York city since 1980.
“At its core is Aten Reign (2013), a major new project that recasts the Guggenheim rotunda as an enormous volume filled with shifting artificial and natural light. One of the most dramatic transformations of the museum ever conceived, the installation reimagines Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architecture—its openness to nature, graceful curves, and magnificent sense of space—as one of Turrell’s Skyspaces, referencing in particular his magnum opus the Roden Crater Project (1979– ). Reorienting visitors’ experiences of the rotunda from above to below, Aten Reign gives form to the air and light occupying the museum’s central void, proposing an entirely new experience of the building”.