Last night at MOCA I was blindfolded and told to follow the sound of jangling keys to find my way out of the galleries. When the sound of the keys stop, I stop, not knowing where to turn, and inches from my nose comes, “In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” recited in a baritone voice.
This was Liz Glynn's work, Like A Patient Etherized Upon A Table (MOCA Goes Dark), the second in her series” Loving You Is Like Fucking The Dead,” presented as part of MOCA's Engagement Party. The work offered museum visitors a sightless tour of the galleries at MOCA Grand Avenue. The opportunity to wander (or, rather, be led) blindly through MOCA's galleries seems to have been a coveted one, requiring a wait in line for over an hour. At a museum. While I'm not big on waiting I have to say I much prefer waiting in line for art than waiting in line for, say, coffee.
After I finally receive my blindfold, my gallery buddy and I lock arms and are led the first several steps into the gallery space and are then instructed to follow the sound of the jangling keys (quite a bit more difficult than you would imagine). At each point when the jangling stops, we get more poetry. I'm left to wonder if the verses are chosen for their relationship to the particular art work we are situated in front of? I can't say, as I can't see.
In the sightless confusion it becomes clear to me that the artwork I'm experiencing is really the sound I'm following. The guards, formerly known best to me as those individuals reminding me “Don't touch that,” or directing me to the bathroom, tonight become the authors of the work. They are the ones beckoning with their keys, teasing almost. At one point, “You can't catch me” is breathed somewhere ahead, and I follow.
At last, having been led down a hallway and allowed to remove my blindfold for just long enough to descend a flight of stairs, I'm directed into another space, descend some more stairs — this time blindfolded — sit down in a theater seat and am finally allowed to remove my blindfold for good. I take it off and find myself in MOCA's downstairs auditorium, with nothingness projected on stage. Hmmmm…. this poetic work has still got my head spinning.
Glynn's series of works comprising “Loving You Is Like Fucking The Dead” began last month with On The Destruction Of The Crystal Palace (Museum On Fire), in which she built and burned (offsite, before the event) a glass palace. The series will culminate next month with All The Arms We Need — A Dinner Party In Three Acts.
All The Arms We Need — A Dinner Party In Three Acts will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1 at MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave, (213) 626-6222, www.moca.org/party.
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