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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of my favorite museums for many reasons- one being it’s not too far away from home and it always has super rad alternating exhibitions. Two exhibits I recently saw were For Beginners by Bruce Nauman and A Retrospective by James Turrell. Both exhibits were incredible and I would highly recommend visiting them.
For Beginners is a series of black and white videos projected on to a huge screen that fits the room from floor to ceiling. The video is two sets of hands while a speaker repeatedly shouts out what fingers he wants the subject to hold down or lift up. The sound of the voice spouting orders echoes around the room and puts its audience in a mesmerized trance. Nauman believed that, “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” This was the idea behind For Beginners.
A Retrospective by James Turrell was one of the most interesting exhibitions I have ever personally seen. His pieces range from recorded light holograms to light and space installations. This exhibits has two parts, each in separate buildings. One piece that especially stood out to me was Breathing Light. This piece allows the viewer to experience the effects of indeterminable space. The viewer ascends stairs to a platform with an infinity edge. The whole area isflooded with light that slowly changes color. This experience is meant to reflect the effects of indeterminable space like whiteout conditions during a blizzard or when a pilot is flying through fog. It was one of the most memorable museum experiences I’ve ever had and I strongly encourage everyone to visit!