07 February 2007

aitken from the street

On Monday night, art librarians gathered in the MoMA Library to see the Doug Aitken video installation over the garden. http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2007/aitken/ And to chat of course. The installation was pretty interesting but the chatter was even more so. Our daily lives, I guess. It was pretty cold so one didn't want to be out on the balcony for long. It was definitely worth being out there for a bit though as the screens on the older parts of the building were only partly visible from inside the reading room on the sixth floor.

Last night (Tuesday) however I was working at MoMA and as I left the cataloging area, Tilda Swinton was "sleepwalking" right at me as I walked through the reading room. I stood down on 54th Street for a while and then meandered in the garden. The Aitken screens are way more interesting from the street. It's probably the flâneurability mostly (credit to Jenny Tobias for mentioning the flâneur part). From the 6th floor, it is diminished somehow; from the street, you must turn your head, look up, look across, be in the space. Cold or no, I'll take it from the street. Aesthetics beats body comfort almost every time.

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