hey you, what's that sound
George Hemphill, Annie Gawlak, and Kim Ward were present for last night's Heaven and Earth preview at the Hirshhorn. The opening itself was exceptional, the show, as expected, had some soft-opening hiccups:
-- Smithsonian security had installed heat reacting alarms to the large works and sculptures (pretty much all of Kiefer's work). Last nights small crowd set them off in a continual atonal chord heard throughout the gallery. This prompted one misguided gallery goer to whisper that "the noise was a powerful and grating addition (to Kiefer's work)." Oh, the pitfalls of the Bombay Saphire-stocked open bar.
-- The Secret Life of Plants, a free standing book fanned out on its sides, had been "over conserved" by museum facilities staff. The lead and debris that surrounds the 195 cm tall piece after each installation is supposed to remain but it got tossed during cleaning.
Let's see what happens in the 2 hours before the exhibit opens to the press this afternoon. This show is so close to being as huge as the work inside it.
*** A very plesant suprise is yesterday's return of Ron Mueck's Big Man to the second floor. He stares you down as you leave Heaven and Earth in an exhibition exit soul-check. Be quick though, when Ways of Seeing comes in two weeks, he goes back upstairs.