Exposure to the Senses Sensationally

With just five installation pieces, the Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA left an everlasting impact on me.  From December 12th, 2011 to February 27th, 2012, the exhibit focused on six Latin American artists who played with, as the title of the exhibit suggests: light and space.  To read more about the exhibit, click here.  I went to the exhibition with my friends who I had met during my internship at the Getty Museum.  As soon as we entered we were blown away by the first piece, Lucio Fontana’s Stuttura al Neon Per la IX Triennale di Milano.


One of my friends snapped this picture as my other friend and I descended the stairs and reacted with sheer awe of the lights. Photo Credit: Janet Lee

The next piece Penètrable BBL bleu by Jesus Rafael Soto enabled us to touch and enter into the art and provoked play in us. Next, the Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Cromosaturación immersed us in light and our natural lens turned into the color of the room. We followed the natural progression of the exhibit and encountered Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s Cosmococa-Programa in Progress.  My favorite moment was changing into my bathing suit in a makeshift pool–like changing room to interact with the art. We swam in a pool guarded by a hired lifeguard. I could not pass on an opportunity to swim in a museum! Blue lights bordered the swimming pool and changing slides flashed on one wall. Finally, the last room with Julio Le Parc’s Lumière en movement painted our bodies with the light from fragmented mirrors.


My friend and I immersed in the pool! Photo Credit: Janet Lee

I believe this was a multimedia exhibit because of the unique uses of light, color, and space. This multimedia exhibit stimulated some of my senses and it left me with an impression in my mind. Each piece of art offered a new perspective because the viewer had to physically move around, in, and/or through the designated spaces and interact with it.  To me, the minimal use of inexpensive technology and temporary walls to create spaces made this a multimedia exhibit.

This exhibit felt very non-traditional compared to the numerous museum exhibits I’ve been to.  It didn’t fit my preconceived exhibit “mold.” I have yet to experience another exhibit like this and my friends and I to this day still talk about this exhibit. I believe sharing this one-of-a-kind experience with museum enthusiasts who responded to the same level of excitement made the “experience” even more memorable. We were able to interact with art sensorially and share those moments. We were participatory in each art piece.  We became part of the art and the art became a part of us.

Pic #3

Frankie, Janet, and I in the Carlos Cruz-Diez piece without shoes or shoe covers. Photo Credit: Janet Lee


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