James Turrell’s Meeting (1986), or “sky-room,” is like the visual arts version of this Animal Collective song that I love…
Listen, look, read, and then please go to P.S.1 and find the elusive sky-room because there is no way I can adequately recreate the experience through words and images.
Imagine walking in to a large, carpeted cube, lined with benches. It is chilly, crisp. You hug your shoulders close, and sit down on your wooden perch. You look up. SKY!
“It looks fake.” It’s not fake. It’s same old sky. We just never looked at it so closely. We never looked at it like we look at a painting. In this cold room, it has been sectioned off for us, framed, isolated. The moon is a perfect crescent, just starting to show its elegant curve in the soft evening gleam. I suppose it is the only compositional aspect… until some mysterious sparkling glimmers start to flit across the… canvas? You tell me it’ all in my head (maybe it is), but I still feel strongly that there must be glimmers and mysteries flying above me all the time. We should pay more attention to sky-beautiful-sky.
The mood in here is meditative. People, we, strangers, all sit together for a long time, just looking up, drinking in the blue. I think I stay for at least twenty minutes. Many people do. The artist arranges us in a circle surrounding the great patch of color, creating a unique sense of communion among us. I feel so peaceful. It feels special to spend one on one time with sky.
I think of yoga and of Yves Klein, and that right now, all I want is sky.