By Stella Ni ’18
The New Museum, a sleek building that houses contemporary art in downtown Manhattan, allows viewers to become the installations and experience imagery in a variety of ways through the unique displays.
Founded by Marcia Tucker in 1977, the New Museum has been open to the public since the winter of 2007. The museum is open everyday from 11am-6pm except Mondays. General admission fees are $18 however, members and visitors under 18 are free. Considering the dynamic artwork inside the museum, the admission fee is fairly reasonable.
Visitors can buy their ticket at the main entrance facing Bowery Street. To the right of the entrance, there’s a gift shop full of interesting books and items. Further down the lobby is a café where drinks and desserts are served. The museum also provides a coat check service for individuals.
On the three main floors of the Museum, lays Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest. Swiss artist, Pipilotti Rist created this exhibition over the past 30 years. From October 26 to January 15, the second, third, and fourth floor of the museum were filled with her work.
The second floor opens on an installation called “administrating eternity.” There’s a series of thin linen sheets hanging from the ceiling. Each sheet is about two feet away from the next. Rotating images are projected onto the sheets to create a lifelike experience. As viewers drift through the sheets, it creates a shadow mimicking a movable screen. This floor also collaborates with Pipilotti’s earlier single channel works. A short video is presented through a screen in individual pods by the elevator wall. Each pod is shaped as a pyramid connected to the wall.
“When I visited the museum, I was captivated by the unusual exhibit,” said Ruobin Lin ’18. “ The museum is relaxing and takes you away from the busy world.”
In an isolated corner of the second floor is a model of a mini one story home. The model depicts an American dream house displaying all aspects of a home. The pavement on the front lawn leads down to a garage where two cars are parked. In front of the main doors are several pots of plants that make the whole display more welcoming. The lights illuminate the inside of the building making the artwork more tangible. The backdrop shows the landscape seen from the house, a shadow of a tree on a hill. The contrast of the lights around and within this display has a sunset theme.
The third floor is where viewers encounter the Pixie Forest. This display is what inspired Pipilotti to title the exhibition
Missimiliano Gioni, artistic director of the new museum said, “The Pixie Forest is similar to a led screen that’s been exploded in space.”
According to Gioni, the Pixie Forest has over 3000 lights connected through wires hanging from the ceiling. Each light is a pixel that’s been isolated and emerged in a cast. The lights change color uniformly to show a mesmerizing ocean of illumination. Towards the right corner were a series of overlapping videos that were projected onto two complimentary walls in the corner. The museum provides a couple of beanbags for visitors to lay down and enjoy the panoramic view of the magical lights and digital projector. The changing colors of the led lights, video, and soothing music allow the viewer in a sense to become part of the images themselves.
On the fourth floor is an installation that shows a complete transformation of space. It uses the architectural structure of the museum to it’s advantage. The cubic shape of the museum could be portrayed as a bedroom. On this floor, viewers are invited to lay down on the beds provided with a couple of pillows. Looking up towards the ceiling, are more videos of Pipilotti’s channel works. The bedroom allows viewers to lay down with complete strangers and admire the digital fiasco together.
The New Museum is Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum.