I have been so taken by Doug Aitken’s work recently it’s no surprise that I find his newest installation at Seattle Art Museum, MIRROR, completely captivating. It looks like this monumental city kaleidoscope changing in response to the urban environment. What’s amazing is feeling the thrill and wonder of his works through videos online — I imagine viewing the installations in person at these sites add even more texture to the experience.
I hope I’ll have a chance to visit Seattle again soon, and in the meantime, am very excited to see SFMOMA’s project with Aitken during the museum’s off-site period continue to develop.
Continuing my love for Doug Aitken is this stunning work SONG 1, which was just on view on at the Hirshhorn in DC as a 360-degree projection, illuminating the museum’s entire facade. Aitken is known for his impressively wide range of work in varying media, and truly this piece is no less enthralling (can hardly imagine what it must have felt like in person).
As NYT’s T points out, the artist tends toward lonely, restless souls in his video work, and I have to say, the result in SONG 1 is completely hypnotic. And thanks to Doug, I’ll now have “I Only Have Eyes for You” playing through my head for the rest of the weekend—a welcome soundtrack for walking through San Francisco streets of beautiful sights and certainly, some lonely souls passing by.
Art that is experiential through multiple senses isn’t anything new, but great artists have a way of creating works that somehow still refresh your sensorial palate, like Doug Aitken’s version of acid modernism, which he also calls his home, featured in this weekend’s T Style.
Reading and seeing photos of his Venice home in Linda Yablonsky’s story was neat enough, as I took in Aitken’s concept of “warm, organic modernism that’s also perceptual and hallucinatory,” seen in the succulent gardens that blend in to the core of the home; tables that can be played like xylophones; and stained glass windows that imbue the Southern California light, creating the effect of a constant sunset.
The accompanying T video adds a whole other element though, as it allows you to both see and hear the house activated — particularly cool: the “light” and “sonic” staircase that is constructed of angled mirrors to create a kaleidoscope effect, additionally it’s embedded with microphones so the stairs are literally musical. Be sure to catch Aitken, his partner Gemma Ponsa, and their friends “play” the stairs and activate other great areas of the house.