Murakami Meditates in an Emergency
|Takashi Murakami, My arms and legs rot off and though my blood rushes forth, the tranquility of my heart shall be prized above all (Red blood, black blood, blood that is not blood), 2007. © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.|
Relevance was not an issue for the throngs attending on opening weekend. One observation is that the "immersive" juggernaut has changed how visitors engage with Murakami's art. For many the exhibition was a selfie soundstage, with real art rather than projections. Adding to the social media focus was an augmented reality component in which virtual sculptures appear in the Instagram app at points in the galleries and outside the building. Despite being easily accessible via QR codes, that was beyond the digital skills of many visitors, forcing the black-clad VSAs to conduct impromptu tech support sessions. (Pro tip: Make sure your Instagram app is the latest version.)
|Takashi Murakami, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, 2014|
|Takashi Murakami, Warp, 2009|
Most of the works on view are from the Broad collection and will be familiar to regular visitors. The difference is that they're all on view at once and, uh, you have to pay $18 to see them. (The Broad is free except for ticketed exhibitions like this. In this case the ticket is a two-fer that also gets you into another special exhibition, "This is Not America's Flag.")
|Takashi Murakami, Unfamiliar People, 2022|
Between normal times and times of emergency, people drastically change, and everyone started to look like aliens to me… On social media, for instance, someone who used to seem like a kind, naturalist type unexpectedly started an aggressive protest against vaccines, denying their efficacy and claiming that the government was lying. I felt scared of people. I sense that in times of emergency, everything about people could change, and wanted to give form to this feeling.