Barriers: Since my last visit, the European painting galleries had been totally refurbished--including new cord barriers around all of the walls which I found incredibly annoying. I could no longer lean in to see the detail work in the paintings without risking falling into them. They placed at exactly the right distance to prevent me from seeing clearly with or without my glasses. I will have to resort to binoculars next time.
Treasure in a Darkened Room: Of all the beautiful works I saw--old friends and new finds--I was totally blown away by a multimedia piece I literally stumbled upon. That was William Kentridge's Refusal of Time. I sat mesmerized in a darkened room for the better part of an hour and left only when they herded us out because the museum was closing. The room was large and dark. There were chairs scattered about so we could sit. There were 5 large movie screens--2 on the side walls and 1 in the front. Sometimes film images were duplicated on all or some screens. Sometimes images were projected as a continuum and progressed around the room from screen to screen. Sometimes there were complementary images on each screen. There was music and sound. All the while, a kinetic wooden sculpture moved in the center of the room moved back and forth like a beating heart or an atomic clock. There was history, time, sound, images--both representational and totally abstract, both politically charged and aesthetically driven. Anyone who has any interest in video, film, or mixed media has to see this piece. I can't describe it--I'm sure the Met can describe this new acquisition better than I. Better yet, go see it before it closes on May 11.
James Jebusa Shannon
Afterwards, I strolled down Fifth Avenue to the 53rd Street E train station, and was on a Red Bank-bound North Jersey Coast Train by 7:30.