Culture //

Last chance: 13 Rooms

Stella Ktenas asks you to enjoy it while it lasts

Future/Perfect - Simon Fujiwara (Photo: Stella Ktenas)
Future/Perfect – Simon Fujiwara (Photo: Stella Ktenas)

13 Rooms joined by only the pipes of the air conditioner as air is vital to humanity, so too is art. And now we slowly step into intimacy-inducing rooms and communally experience illumination. Tino Sehgal’s piece expectedly induced a patent giggle reflex response. Each room held intimately treasured moments.

I stepped into Damien Hirst’s room and found it was unusually occupied by three sets of twins, two as observers. We heartily laughed at the jovial, improvised back-and-forth comedy of the twins, where they were “beside themselves that their act was double booked”, then the trio of twins regaled us with stories of identical dental records, to criminal loopholes when hypothetically committing murder due to identical finger prints.

Repetitious suspension of a temporal segment that is Abramovic’s Luminosity stunned me blank, then brought me to tears then had me adorning an admiring smile, circularly directing my silent emotions across the entire spectrum. This physically demanding durational piece depicts a powerful nude female figure in which she is raised off the ground in Da Vinci’s Human Figure in a Circle style pose, intensely engaging in eye contact, as she gradually and methodically raises and lowers her arms.

Logistics claimed the reason for the painting of the door to be omitted from Baldessari’s Thirteen Colourful Inside jobs, yet both the doorway’s floor and the ladder provided images on the remnant colours. The colour was superficial, yet the meaning was penetratingly layered.

I was moved by the sheer tenderness Xavier Le Roy’s choreography evoked. Though improvised in the dark, once your eyes adjusted it was a tender dance by the rolling bodies, constructing interesting shapes, marvelling at the fluidity, and the intimacy. The absence of light forces the patron to work for the experience, and though many spent 25 seconds in the dark, gave up and left, I remained transfixed on these figures for 25 minutes, freely describing to other vocal patrons in a normal voice my feelings. The joy of this piece was worth the trivial work.

Joan Jonas’s Mirror Check easily captured our mesmerized attention. The meticulous examination of oneself echoed not only Narcissus, but a meticulous scientific gaze, the superego, and even feminist pride in the examination, and pursuit of a greater comprehension of oneself.

I was instantly baffled to silence by Xu Zhen’s In Just a blink of an Eye. Perhaps it was the immensely unnecessary censor within the volunteer’s voice and continuous comments to patrons to “maintain a respectful distance”, or perhaps the suggestion of such a gravity defying pose shook my beliefs.

The 1000 words a painting is worth remains inadequate when describing the gloriously rewarding experience 13 Rooms offers its multifarious patrons. Do enjoy it while it lasts for one day we shall die.

Hans, Georg - Damien Hirst (Photo: Stella Ktenas)
Hans, Georg – Damien Hirst (Photo: Stella Ktenas)