18 November 2008

designer art

At the beginning of November we went to the Chanel Mobile Art exhibit in Central Park. It was what I needed after working 8 days in a row and I was ready for something to get me out of my work haze. I haven't stopped thinking or talking about this exhibit since we went-it was AMAZING and I loved every minute of it.

Basically it's a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the quilted Chanel bag (which I now suddenly kinda want one-oh they're good). So Karl Lagerfeld asked architect Zaha Hadid to create her interpretation of the inside a Chanel bag and then 11 other artists contributed works that were inspired by Chanel for the interior. It was free to attend but you had to have a ticket which we didn't know about and they were all gone months ago. We don't let that kind of thing get in our way as we are savvy in the ways of these kinds of events (sold out Sundance films are never sold out and I've only not gotten into a film once and I've been to a lot). We wait listed for two hours and got in easy peasy. Being fans of The Man we're used to waiting in lines and this was nothing compared to those lines.

So they let people in groups of about 30 at a time every 15 minutes and all of the workers were so nice and friendly. Even though you're in a small group they break it down even more to about two or three at a time for baggage check. After you check your bag and coat they sit you down on a bench and bring you a little headphones/MP3 player and tell you to wait for someone to come set it for you. Another person then comes over and sets it to the volume you prefer and explains that they are starting yours 10 seconds apart from each other for personal reflection. Then you wait for the narration to begin.

Okay, little did I know that the narrator is a voice I love, love, love. Her name is Jeanne Moreau and she has a deep, husky voice and I could listen to her talk all day (she is the narrator in the Drew Barrymore flick Ever After). There are various points throughout the structure and I'm not going to describe all of them-just my two favorites. A little way through you walk into a long narrow hallway where there is a bench to lean on. Across from you there is a wall that stops a foot from the floor and you can see a cobbled street with a puddle all along the hallway. It takes a minute for you eyes to adjust and THEN... I can hear in my headphones dripping water and I see the drips in the puddles but it keeps going and you see an upside down reflection of houses in Paris with little Chanel logos and there is the sound of talking and drapes opening/closing and you see little movements of life in the reflection. Then it goes from day to night while all this activity is going on. It was so beautiful to me I just wanted to stay in there all day but my narrator lady had us moving on.

My other favorite piece was at the end and we had to write out a wish and tie it to a tree. The point is to empty your "bag" and bare your soul. Then we went to the bag check and they give you a large magazine type catalog (a gift from Chanel) of the exhibit since photographs aren't allowed inside. Heidi and I left so refreshed and calm-almost like we'd been to a spa. It was such a brilliant experience and I was so sad it is temporary-it's moving on to London next. After we left the exhibit we walked through the park for awhile to enjoy the beautiful weather and just being in some nature for a change.

I've been struggling lately with being in NY and wondering what the hell I'm doing here but I'm back in the groove of loving it for opportunities like this where I get to experience something so magical that reminds me it's been worth it so far (my eight month mark was at the beginning of November-Yay!).


P.S. I found this girls blog about this as well-check it out!


Sadie said...

wow... how lucky! I saw a snip bit about this a while back and what an experience to be in NYC and to be able to see such wonderful art.

Jo said...

times like this i'm sad i'm not still in nyc. i'll just have to visit london in may!

Ritch in Love said...

That sounds like an AMAZING exhibit! How long is it going on for?

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