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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

For Anyone Who Wants To Know What It Would Be Like To Be In A Room With Robert Irwin

posted by on November 7 at 15:12 PM

I linked Monday to the review of Irwin’s new show in San Diego by PORT’s Arcy Douglass, who emailed me this description:

You might enjoy this and I did not know where to include in the review so it was dropped. During the media preview, Irwin is giving a short lecture on the background of his work. He goes on to say that the questions are always more important than the answers and a few minutes later asks for questions by the audience.

Even though there only 40 people in the room, if someone asked a question, Irwin would leave the pedestal to be closer to the audience and make direct eye contact with the person who asked the question the whole time. Keep in mind that if you ask Mr. Irwin a question that you will proabably get a 10 minute answer. Proximity and what he would call being “tuned in” is as important in a conversation as it is in his work.


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Just curious...I swear I saw this piece in The Modern in Dallas, it the same piece?!!

Posted by cunei4m | November 7, 2007 5:25 PM

Thanks for the post Jen.

Cunei4m it is very possible that you saw either this disc or a similar disc in Dallas. All of the discs are traditionally installed with four lights that create a scalloping effecting around the disc. The discs are more complex than you would expect. Some of them are left "empty" and some of them have a line through the middle. The idea behind the disc, at least as I understand it, is to blend the space of the work into the space of the room/wall.

The empty discs all produce a Ganzfeld effect where there disc will appear to flatten out in an indeterminate space even though disc itself is rounded and a about a foot off the wall. Some of the discs have horizontal lines that will either heighten or diminish that perception of flattening.

As I understand it, the differences between the discs themselves are pretty subtle. Easy to tell them apart if they are in the same room but it is harder to tell them apart if we are relying on our memories. The Portland Art Musuem has one installed right now but because it sits in a corridor (a whole other discussion) it only has two lights from the top. Nice to see the disc but not as nice as if it was given its proper place in its own room.

I hope that was helpful.


Posted by Arcy | November 7, 2007 6:02 PM

Thanks, Arcy...not too familiar with the work so wasn't aware that this was a running theme.

Posted by cunei4m | November 7, 2007 9:10 PM

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