being the event
At 4:30 yesterday all the lights went out inside the Guggenheim. A voice then came over a speaker and said, "the event is you, I repeat, the event is you". This was Pierre Huyghe's contribution to the current exhibition, the anyspacewhatever. Relational aesthetics, as an idea, a practice, and as an "art movement" is somewhat impossible to institutionalize. Most of the work labeled this, willingly or not, is based on individual exchanges between people and often the spontaneous possibilities of creating a shared context. So, it wasn't surprising to feel as though the exhibition fell short of enacting what it was exhibiting. I wasn't engaged by, or felt all that interested in much of the work, especially when the most stellar and charged work of Catherine Opie was being shown in the side galleries (it is all about context after all). Pierre's piece was an exception, and I am a big fan of some of his past work, so I'm glad I timed my visit in conjunction with his/our piece. I enjoyed feeling the usual way of experiencing the space disrupted, even if only slightly. The best part was seeing people get excited about wearing headlamps, acting silly by wearing them at all, and then "performing" the work without any instruction- becoming the event.