Friday, December 09, 2005

An hour into last night’s snowstorm I decided to go to the Art Institute. It was their late night and I was certain I would have the place to myself.. more or less true. I’ve never been alone in the Felix Gonzales-Torres room before: my version of church.

Walking to the museum the snow was blowing in so many directions at once that the skyline was almost entirely rubbed out. Since it was just before the evening rush, not a lot of people were out on foot yet, but the few that were indiscernible with their heads bowed from the elements. As I walked, there wasn’t a trace of a footprint before or after me. An interesting feeling in a city of 8 million. I didn’t look up until I was in the warm and quiet environs of the woodblock gallery and as if by accident there in front of me was Hiroshige’s “Coming and Going in the Snow” printed into a book that was open and on display. Tried to find a photo of it online, but it must be a less common piece. The whiteness of the page is only offset by half a dozen figures aiming themselves in different directions, no path or landscape to offer the eye perspective or any clue as to their trajectories. Other marks were perhaps footprints, or- I think- impressionistic enough to suggest the air still swirling with snow. Looked at this for quite a while, until I could no longer smell the wet thaw of my wool coat, only to then discover that the entire room was Hiroshige winter scenes.

I was also glad to see that the space defining untitled installation of yarn by Fred Sandback has returned. It’s such a tripping hazard that in spite of the security guards’ best efforts it is routinely broken. So I’m told.

I hope we get some folks braving the elements to come out to the SpareRoom tonight for Elizabeth Block and Jordan Stempleman.


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