This week at the L Magazine, I offer readers a set of four reviews based purely on cool. This time, though, the evaluation is not the coolness of the art, but that of the museum: literally how much time each place allows you to spend in its air-conditioning. Here are two of my findings below:
Francis AlÃ¿s, A Story of Deception, at PS1: This show is full of videos shot in hot weather, but only one offers conceptual respite from the heat. “Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing” (1997) documents AlÃ¿s kicking a giant block of ice around the hot streets of Mexico City until it melts into nothing. Other than that, viewers can watch thousands of workers shoveling sand in an effort to move a sand dune an inch and AlÃ¿s trying to jump into a tornado. I suppose that's cooling too, but only very briefly.
Estimated viewing time: 75 minutes.
Maya Zach, Living Room, at the Jewish Museum: Black and white photographic prints capture a Jewish family's apartment in 3D. That's right, some museum art now must be viewed with 3D glasses. Add to this an accompanying audio narrative provided by a man named Nomburg, a German-born Jew in Israel who fled from Berlin in 1938, and you've got at least 25 minutes worth of air-conditioning.
Estimated viewing time: 30 minutes.
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