Aug 15, 2013

James Turrell

I finally got to LACMA today (aka the Los Angeles County Museum of Too Many Rules…another story) to see the big James Turrell exhibit. I found much of it gimmicky, esp his holograms. What was most impressive was being visually immersed in various colors, which was difficult as there are rules preventing you from getting too close to the installations. That's a waste as one of Turrell's goals has always been to make you realize that our visual view of the world is merely what our optic nerve delivers to our brain. Everything visual is subjective and related to what we have just seen.

The one room that does envelop you in a sea of pink changed how I saw a pure white light installation just around  the corner. That pure white light looked blueish green until the pink after-image faded. It's standard stuff of graphic design, warm colors appear to be closer, dark colors appear to recede. Any big swath of a bright warm color produces a similar after-image, even when the light is reflected as in print. Turrell quietly pounds the table with this fact by using transmissible light to recall the line from an old TV ad— You're soaking in it! 

Of course my perception of reality goes way beyond what I can see. My reality is 100% based on how my brain interprets and processes the stimuli and communication it receives through my five senses. I've intellectually realized this many times, Turrell made me feel it…pretty cool! 

Like my favorite line from the movie Being There says—"Life, is a state of mind."

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