A few weeks ago I went with friend and illustrator extraordinaire Scott Bakal, to MoMA where we viewed a current exhibition featuring the works of Vincent Van Gogh. I decided to return today, to experience the new projected video piece by Swiss born artist, Pipilotti Rist. The work, Pour Your Body Out was in installation process when we were at the museum previously and I was eager to return and spend some time taking it all in. After checking my coat, and preparing myself for some real art absorption, I was delighted to go up the stairs and be greeted by a sign welcoming viewers to take their shoes off and get to know one another. Not one to easily part with my shoes, I still enjoyed sitting Indian-style on the carpet for a full hour surrounded by others who reveled in the swirling colors and abstract narrative. I estimate that the video is about 20 minutes total, and is shown in an almost seamless loop. Becoming acclimated to the large (full ceiling to floor!) format, I realized that as I sat, my breathing slowed and became a bit more regular. I became more aware of my scent and the smells and sounds around me. My face flushed and after the third loop, I unconsciously began to hum the musical, audio accompaniment.

From the MoMA website:

Pipilotti Rist’s lush multimedia installations playfully and provocatively merge fantasy and reality. MoMA commissioned the Swiss artist to create a monumental site-specific installation that immerses the Museum’s Marron Atrium in twenty-five-foot-high moving images. Visitors will be able to experience the work while walking through the space or sitting upon a sculptural seating island designed by the artist.

Pipilotti Rists’ Pour Your Body Out is on view until February 2, 2009 and I strongly recommend going. Try to watch it several times since the longer you allow yourself to look, the more imagery (and symbols) will appear.

Also Colors of the Night featuring paintings by Van Gogh will be on view until January 5th. There are several gems that rarely leave the museums/countires where they normally dwell. A favorite of mine is “The Sower”, 1888, which is in the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and reveals obvious signs of japonisme.