Art can be selfish. I definitely have times when I’m writing “just for me” because performing your art without an audience can be extremely therapeutic. I think that’s why so many people are silent in galleries—they don’t want to disturb anyone so everyone can have their own experience; effectively making each piece you pass “just for you.”
I don’t think Julianne Swartz had me in mind when she constructed Terrain, but maybe I was more in the process than one would think. Terrain is a contemporary work that was originally in the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion but has been re-strategized to spider web the Caroline Marmon Fesler Gallery in the Contemporary Art Collection. It has a network of speakers that hang over head from a rainbow of wire.
The speakers play the voices of 37 different volunteers whispering. They start and end on their own accord and echo thorough out the space. As you move through the room and pick-up on varying voices it’s like you’re the conductor of 37 hushed ghosts. Basically, it’s really creepy. Logging time in the gallery, I watched quite a few people enter, get freaked out and leave. However, those who stay just long enough to read the label are rewarded.