Turell, you turn me around – I can’t turn my head anymore – you move me so my head is falling off!
Meeting is one of JamesTurell’s Skyspace pieces – a site – specific installation at Moma PS1 since 1986.
With time I have come to know this installation as a breath – a smell of rain before it happens, grass just mowed, – a space of silence.
Some days Meeting is not open to the public. I recommend the blue hour. If it is in the morning or in the evening, as my Dad always tells me since I was a little girl, something magic is happening at that hour: right before dawn or dusk.
First time I entered the installation was in 2010. I remember people’s faces just as I entered. They were all staring up, sitting around on the four-square wooden bench, which is located on the wall all the way around. Just looking at all these necks bended backwards looking up, the space so bright with light, seemed so unreal. The white walled space had an orange glow – possibly a carefully calculated artificial glow. The sky was grey that day. People’ eyes were distant. I stood in the door thinking where shall move to. I had not yet seen that there was no ceiling, that there was no barrier between the space and the sky. Then I discovered the sky entering the enclosed space through a rectangular frame in the ceiling. The viewers looked as if they were waiting for something to happen. I sat down on the wooden bench. I could not reach the floor with my feet. This fact made me float while looking up. I sat there for a while. Weirdly enough, perhaps because I’m born in 85′ – the digital and technology world: I experienced the opening as a screen, a video, I was sure something was going to happen. I mean? Come on? Just looking at the sky? But then while noticing people leaving and coming I kept starring into the grey blue, surrounded by the white edge of border that was cut into the open blank carpet of greyness, I suddenly discovered the power of the piece. The sharpness of the edge, loosing track of where you are for a moment, the movement of the grey, grey sky, was there, after a while I just felt the silence and the power of the sky. I knew it was not the last time I would meet and be with the sky.
I go back often – some days covered with clouds, some days with clouds on blue sky. And then finally one day I came in at the blue hour right before closing time. This hour of just blue has a deep power of breath. Meeting yourself up front, a must for any photographer who needs to clear his mind from images. Look into the sky and you will find the sky and yourself. I think this piece is worth a visit. Give it at least 15 min. – do it alone, sit there/see the edge, let the sky take over, feel the air. Sometimes the sky will almost feel like it’s falling down on you, sometimes it’s like being in a painting, sometimes the edge will vibrate. For sure every time you go, it will be different. To me it’s like taking a walk without walking.
PS.A major retrospective will open with James Turrell at three different venues in 2013: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opening in May, and both the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York opening in June.