Arts Best Art Show. Ever. (Part V)
posted by September 21 at 10:30 AMon
You’ve just come through the fire of the first floor, which culminates in a Turrell red room, and suddenly something completely different happens. The rooms are white.
The first guide is a 13th-century Chinese Lohan figure seated on the floor, a figure who, in Theravada Buddhism, has crossed over to the other side, and is saved forever. Lining the walls of the room are Roman Opalka’s paintings of numbers in light, light gray, so that the canvases appear to be all white until you get close and can see the streams of simple counting. You can also hear the light drone of the artist’s voice, counting. It’s much like the Kimsooja video of a laundry woman standing still in front of the moving river on the first floor. The room is a spiritual lesson in multiple aesthetic and cultural languages, sure, and it’s also pure pleasure to be in.
The next two rooms bring the same rush of pleasure, in completely different syntax. A 17th-century Japanese scroll hangs near a Piero Manzoni calendar collage from 1959 and Enrico Castellani’s 1970 white canvas shaped into diamond points. From the ceiling hang two sculptures by Markus Raetz, from 2006, made of metal filaments shaped into simple boxes but continuously changing shape (from one type of box to another) as they turn and twist in silence. You can easily miss them up there, flying quiet. On the floor are four large stones in a row, progressing from round to oblong, by Dominique Stroobant.
Above all that, the palazzo’s interior ceiling is ornate, like a series of red diamonds that play with the installation on yet another level.
Through one last door are Thomas Ruff’s photograph of stars, an On Kawara date painting, Duchamp’s two facing mirrors, and Shozo Shimamoto’s gun-shot, two-sided metal panel—in a space with tall, arched windows, like a chapel.