November 9, 1943
Jackson Pollock’s first solo show opens at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery. He has not yet painted the dripping works for which he’ll be most famous.
November 9, 1966
John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at her art opening at Indica Gallery in London. The work above impresses Lennon; after climbing to the top of the ladder and using the magnifying glass to read the word “Yes” on the ceiling, he is sufficiently interested to stay at the exhibition, and ends up meeting Ono. He says that most artwork is “anti” instead of positive and her optimism moves him.
November 9, 2009
Emma Thompson’s Journey opens in NYC. It is a multi-media art installation produced by Thompson, with contributions from artists like Anish Kapoor, journalists and social workers. The exhibition is constructed in seven connecting cargo trailers and documents the typical journey a young girl takes into the world of the international sex trade.
This is an extremely moving piece, and one sensory experience that will always stay with me is the trailer made to look like a room where several girls in the trade will live and work. The trailer smells dank and contains several twin beds, which feature creaking and moving mattresses, as if someone is actively bouncing on them. There is various garbage on the ground and mantle: panties, random pens, wrappers. There is a sink, as I recall, which only drives home the idea of the need to cleanse oneself from what is happening in the room. The decorations, such as they are, are garish, with crimson walls and cloying wallpaper. The air is hot and humid, as if there are no windows to open and too many people breathing at once.
More than any other, this piece showed me the power of art installation.