Recently I was in LA and the weather was crap. So crappy that we spent the majority of our visit going to museums, rather than soaking up the non-existent sun outside.
Josh was super jazzed to see that James Turrell’s Breathing Light was open for viewing at LACMA. I had missed Turrell’s exhibition at the Guggenheim so this was my first experience of one of his pieces. After receiving a slip of paper telling us that we might have serious side effects from the piece like vomiting and fainting, we donned our little sock booties and walked into a sloping curved room with a strong light source at one end that continuously changed color. The installation is designed to completely eliminate the viewer’s depth perception—which for most people creates a very zen like experience.
For me, it was the opposite of zen. My hands immediately got clammy and my mouth went dry; my entire body was tingling. That piece of paper—yeah, it was meant for people like me. I’d never had such a visceral reaction to a piece of art (experiential or not), which was definitely profound. So kudos James Turrell for literally making me feel something!