Thursday, May 21, 2015

RECAP // A First-Time Account of "Danaë"

In a new series titled "A First-Time Account," we invite new visitors to the Mattress Factory to share their experiences at the museum.

Hello, my name is Max Pollack. I'm currently a senior at Winchester Thurston High School and will be attending George Washington University in the fall. I recently made a visit to the Mattress Factory and I left in awe. The exhibit that caught my eye the most was James Turrelll's Danaë, on the second floor. When I first stepped into the room to view this exhibit, I thought that I was just staring at a blank blue screen. As I approached the screen, I started to think that I may not be looking at a screen. As I found myself befuddled I decided to put my hand up and touch the screen, only to find that it wasn’t that at all. There was just another room with the lighting set up perfectly to create the illusion that there was a blue screen. 

It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen, and as someone who's mainly interested in sports and isn’t really that into art, I was amazed by this creation. When I normally see a painting or a sculpture or something I just think to myself “oh that’s interesting" or "I’ve seen that before,” but with this I was just truly amazed. I had never thought of art as being expressed in this way. When I think of art, I think of the traditional painting on a canvas, or maybe a sculpture.  The idea of presenting art in this more abstract form was very new to me, and this is why it was so intriguing. When I initially entered the room it was dead silent and I was expecting the screen to turn into a video clip or something, and as I slowly walked forward I could not believe what I was seeing. The reason I am so obsessed with this creation was I think a result of the surprise factor. It is really just something that I think everyone needs to see. I definitely will look forward to seeing more of James Turrell’s work in the future because of how unique and original he is, and I value originality over everything else.  

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