Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rivane Neuenschwander

Rivane Neuenschwander, "I Wish Your Wish", photo from Armando Rampas.

Still waiting for Marc Horowitz to call me, I came to think of the Rivane Neuenschwander show I saw at the New Museum in New York this summer.

Well, yes, I did merely look at most of the show (titled "A Day Like Any Other"), but in the piece that you see here ("I Wish Your Wish"), I also participated.

All the walls in the lobby gallery space at the New Museum were covered by little holes (10,296 in total), and from each hole hung a silk ribbon with text.

Rivane Neuenschwander,
"I Wish Your Wish", photo from Pittsburg City Paper.

I entered the room carefully, while trying to figure out what it was all about. The text on the ribbons looked like prayers, and in some of the holes the ribbons had been replaced by rolled up paper (see photo blow). 

All the colors, the pattern and texture that from a distance looked almost like tapestry... It was beautiful. And being surrounded by so many people's wishes felt sacred.

Rivane Neuenschwander, "I Wish Your Wish", photo from Shotgun Review.

By the entrance to the gallery there were pencils and paper. So I wrote my special wish on a piece of paper, rolled it up, and went to pick out a ribbon on which somebody else's wish was printed. It took me a while to find the right one. I had to consider many possible wishes, but ended up tying a pink ribbon around my wrist, with a wish that was supposed to come true when the ribbon fell off...


There was also another work in the show that required audience participation. In "First Love" a forensic sketch artist would listen to your description and make a drawing of your first love:

Rivane Neuenschwander, "First Love", photo from jaunted.

(The exhibition has travelled on, and is now at the Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis.)

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