Critics sometimes say that strangers can't draw close in a big city. We have invisible walls around us, wherever we go, and as much as we'd like to communicate, even through a smile or a glance, we instead bustle forward, head down, never connecting.
But there are exceptional places and spaces where this does not hold true.
The recent James Turrell exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art provided such a space in "Breathing Light." The walk-in artwork, which has been described as everything from a bowlful of pure color to an energy field to a '50s science fiction film set, drew viewers together in a shared and rather magical experience.
And that shared experience will continue, at least for another year. For while the other pieces in the popular show have moved onto the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, "Breathing Light" has remained behind. Not just behind but it will stay open to delight and mystify people and, yes, draw them together in an unlikely, vibe-glow, color-revolving setting.
Stay open, that is, for another year, so if you want to walk into the Resnick Pavilion installation -- and, yep, you do indeed wear the shoe-covering booties to do so -- you'll need to act in the next 12 months. It's worth it.
And free to see, after 3 p.m. on weekdays, for LA County residents. Yep, it is no longer part of a special exhibit ticket but not included in general admission. Can't make it after 3 on a Tuesday? Just get a LACMA ticket and head for the Resnick.
"Breathing Light" was "commissioned for the museum and acquired for the permanent collection thanks to the generosity of Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation.
Truly, there's no space like it, save, perhaps, in fiction. But how often do we get to walk into a fictional space, a room of saturated light, and do so with other strangers seeking to leave the everyday?
It turns out you can connect, in meaningful ways, in the big city. Or at least enjoy a surreal space where the hue comes to you.