I spent the last two days babysitting for Emma. Despite the snow flurries on Friday, Emma, her 14 year old brother and I ventured crosstown to MoMA. The main purpose of our visit was to check out Pipilotti Rist's exhibit "Pour Your Body Out," which invites you to take off your shoes and lie down on a large doughnut-shaped couch while watching large projections on three walls. I think we all enjoyed it. While watching, Emma whispered, "what do you think we're supposed to be?" The work did make you feel like you were somehow a part of it, but I wasn't sure how.
Next we checked out "Here Is Every," an exhibition of four decades of contemporary art. It featured Felix Gonzalez-Torres' piece "Death By Gun," which is actually endless large paper posters depicting dozens of obituaries of victims of gun violence. Copies are left in the gallery and meant to be taken by visitors. Naturally Emma wanted one. After briefly explaining the meaning of the piece ("Um, it's pictures of people who have died...") I suggested she might just share one with her brother; one per household seemed plenty. "Well," Emma countered, "it's kind of fun to just get to take something from a museum." True.
Our final stop was the design exhibition, "Rough Cut." It was full of cutting edge (get it?) design treasures: padlocks with smiley heart faces welded on them, faceless stuffed toys for developmentally disabled children, and a Stokke stroller. There was some sort of chair/cave creation made of soft purple fabric. Upon seeing it, Emma gasped, "Oh, I just want to sit in that so badly." Luckily she is well-versed in museum etiquette, and even with the confusion of contemporary art (take this art home! don't sit on this chair!), by now she's enough of a pro that I can let her wander a little bit knowing she won't make a grab for anything. In case she should forget the museum rules, there were plenty of these signs to remind us: