‘Choose.’ ‘choose.’ ‘choose.’ – the artworks call upon me. Some of them asking for attention in polite, soft tones. Some of them demanding with harsh, screamy colors. They seem to know: in every exhibition space, there is only so much attention to distribute. Where to hold still? What to take in? When to continue?
I enter the next space. Suddenly – a one-to-one encounter with Open Ended. “Welcome” – it only speaks to me in low, warm tones. It’s majestic appearance immediately calms me. Friendly. Noble, even. Makes me want to stay in its presence. With no expectations except for my physical presence, Open Ended completely absorps me – isolates me from the outside. I am the only visitor in the museum now. It is a meditative, intimate encounter. Just me, a silent passage of time and this one piece of art.
My attempt to capture a small piece of this encounter in a self-portrait – fails. Its size does not allow for acceptable photographic representations.
After 10 minutes, although having the urge to stay for another hour, I decide to continue. Afraid that this genuine experience will be interrupted by another visitor who may appear at any moment.
Any moment now.
Kunstwerk | Richard Serra, Open Ended, 2007-2008
* Deze korte tekst is in 2020 geschreven als onderdeel van de cursus Art Criticism and Writing: an Introduction bij Node Center for Curatorial Studies