Madame Curie

Jennifer Steinkamp, (2011); seven-channel, synchronized projection.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has truly expanded my appreciation for contemporary art. The downtown museum space is really small (about two large rooms) but they always seem to have some big art installation there. The Jennifer Steinkamp is the 3rd large, full room exhibit I’ve seen at the MCASD.

This work of hers, titled Madame Curie, is a projected work that covers the 3 walls of from floor to ceiling in a swaying criss cross of intertwined flowers. The flowers represented from marigolds to hop plants are from a list of those that were planted in Marie Curie’s garden, as is mentioned in her biography written by her daughter.

The work truly makes use of the architectural space it is contained in. It transforms the open exhibit space from cold concrete to a meditative, peaceful environment from the natural world, as if one turned a meadow into the walls of a building. I could spend so much time in this installation. It was one of those works that inspire a deep quiet, and almost to some extent, a stillness of the viewer. When you stand still you can take in the gentle rhythm of the flowers, moving back and forth on an unseen and unfelt breeze.

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