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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Graciously Admitting Defeat

Janet Cardiff, The Forty-Part Motet, MoMA installation view, Autumn 2005At the conclusion my gallery talk at the Whitney today, a couple approached me with a question.

"Can you tell us where they put that room that's filled with speakers?" the man asked. I knew right away what he was talking about, but I hesitated for a moment while I contemplated the most diplomatic way to answer the question. His wife must have taken my pause for confusion because she jumped in to clarify. "It plays a choir piece, I think. A friend told us we had to see it while we were in New York this week."

I did the right thing.

"That's Janet Cardiff's Forty Part Motet. It's not here. It's at MoMA," I told them. "You really ought to go down there to experience it," I added. "It's the best thing you'll see today."

Update: If you haven't seen the piece yet, you're now out of luck. MoMA has closed its second floor galleries for a reinstallation.

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