Saturday, March 13, 2004

Last night, I was a little annoyed with Matt and I kept telling myself to imagine that I was in "Fireflies on the Water," urging myself to think back to how I felt in that room earlier at the Biennial.

I was supposed to go with Matt and his roommates to parties last evening, however, I did not leave the train that left their house because I was uptown at the Whitney and then somewhere in Lower East Side eating a burrito. When I got home around ten thirty, I called him to see where he was, and he was at a Williamsburg gallery, it was lame though, and they were going to leave to go to the party, and would call me once they got there. Okay, I said, expecting a quick call back. Around midnight, after my energy had peaked and crashed, spending an hour or so at home pretty bored, playing online, I got a call telling me they were just leaving the gallery he was at when I called earlier. I was pretty annoyed since I had wanted to check out some of the Williamsburg galleries, but also really tired from waiting around forever for him to call, and so I said I was going to bed and went to bed, thinking back to Yayoi Kusama and the amazing experience(s) I had earlier in the evening, remembering that that feeling was once in a lifetime, something rare and precious, and this day (yesterday) was special because of it.

There was a ten minute line streaming through the third floor, waiting to go inside this room because only one person is allowed in at a time, and I joined the line, giddy, wondering what exactly it was that I was waiting for. Once I got closer to the door, I got peeks into the space whenever anyone entered or left, and saw the brightness, and would see the shockingly joyful expressions on just about everyone's faces as they exited the room. Finally, it was my turn, and I cannot even begin to tell you what sensations, what joys I experienced when the guard closed the door behind me, and I was in this tiny room on a platform, surrounded by reflective water, by mirrors on all sides, and little colorful lights hung from the ceiling. I looked out and around and saw no end, just an infinity of lights and myself. It was so fucking amazing, and my joy was totally unrestrained because I was free from any feeling of how I should properly respond to the art because I was in this room totally alone, no one could see me, it was just me and this universe of magical lights and mirrors. It was a wonderfully liberating feeling, to escape the crowded museum and be here alone - I think that made the experience that much more joyful, that much more wonderful. It was probably only fifteen or so seconds that I was in there before the guard opened up the door and it was the next person's turn to enter the room of pleasure.

I left with an outrageous smile on my face, wandered around to check out some more art before being compelled, like a kid just getting off the rollercoaster, to run around and get in line again. The second time was just as amazing. Think of all those mirrored, Christmas-light adorned restaurants on Indian Row, remove all the people, make it somehow more magical - and that is the closest approximation I can think of to describe this piece. It is my fantasy of infinite space: joy, lights bouncing till the end of your sightline. This is totally the tourist piece also. I kept walking past families, couples asking each other where "the glitter room" was, and I squealed with delight knowing that if they found it, they would experience joy and wonder and would leave this museum so much the happier. Mr. Costanza would chant "Serenity Now" to remind himself that he could occupy a happy space. Last night, I was chanting "Yayoi Kusama" for similar reasons, to remind myself of the expansive joy that is latent in me, that was brought to the surface by this work.

The show was totally overwhelming with so much good, amazing stuff scattered throughout the place. I am going to have to go back and try to absorb more of it, spend more time with some of the stuff, I will be going back anyways to watch the Tracy and the Plastics performance, which is appearantly part of a three-show trilogy. The other works that I loved were the other immersive rooms, the one by Assume Vivid Astro Focus, and the one by Virgil Marti.

God, so much. Ernesto Caivano's drawings are so gorgeous and good, and yes: full of joy. Tom Burr's "Blackout Bar" is also one of my favorite pieces in the show - it evokes so much for me. It is: not full of joy. But good, great even! Quickly everyone else I loved and who I want to spend more time with, learning about: Laura Owens, Sue de Beer, Christian Holstad, Barnaby Furnas and Mark Handforth. The website is great, btw, and it has so much info. I discovered this while waiting around for Matt to call back last night. There is so much in this show! I did not even get to check out even half of the videos being shown. So much! It makes me so full of joy to see all these different works, all so distinct - all these different voices, people creating things, sharing them with you and I, and it is an invitation to do the same, to show us that amazing things are possible, we just must do them. Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama...

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