Gaze up at the sky and you’re faced with an overwhelming sense of space, colour, motion and a glimpse of how small you are. But do you consider your sense of sight? Do you think about how your own eyes create your own individual view of the sky?
These are the kind of questions that James Turrell raises through “Meeting”, his permanent installation at Moma PS1. What was once a Quaker classroom is now an empty room with a huge square hole in the ceiling.
A simple bench lines the edge of the room. As you move around the perimeter, the perspective of the space above changes: different squares of sky become visible. These shifts are highlighted by the changing colours of LED lighting, which cycles through a 45-minute program designed to sync with the sunset. As the lights change, the colour of the sky seems to transform: your eyes play tricks on you, turning this simple piece of sky into a mesmerizing experience. Suddenly you’re aware of your sense of sight and the transience of every moment.
The installation is open all day but we recommend you go at sunset. With the days getting shorter, twilight will soon fall in the museum’s regular opening hours (no need to scramble to buy a rare after-hours sunset spot). You can thank Turrell for creating this silver lining to the dark winter days.
Moma PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101.
Photo: Yu Hsiang Fu.