Yesterday I went to LACMA, mostly to see the James Turrell exhibit there. If I had been allowed, I would have taken many photos, but probably very few of them would have come out well, because Turrell's work is about light as a physical presence and about the human perception of color, and I don't think either of those things translates very well from camera to screen to eye.
As a case in point, one of his pieces was a large room, shaped roughly like a flattened cylinder, with a square portal entrance at one end (up a flight of steps from its anteroom). From below, waiting our turn to go in, the room seemed to be drenched in saturated color, changing from blue to pink to red, so thick that you expected the people inside to swim in it like honey rather than just walking in air and light. But from the inside, the room seemed mostly white or a bit off-white, with the end opposite the portal open to what seemed a bluish formless and infinite void. The values of light and dark within the room and the space beyond the room changed, but not so much its colors, except that if you paid attention the skin tones of the other participants were a bit off and one young woman's pale pink hoodie glowed with an unearthly radioactive fluorescence. How do you capture that experience in pixels?
I did take some shots of other exhibits, though. The one below is from Agnès Varda in Californialand
, a show in which French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda
built a shack from reels of one of her less successful films, Lions Love
.The rest of the photos
include more of Varda's piece, and a couple of pieces from another exhibit in the same part of the museum on art inspired by the coming soccer World Cup.