I had the great fortune of visiting The Rubin Museum of Art located at 150 West 17th St, in N.Y.C. www.rubinmuseum.org yesterday. As stated in their mission statement "The Rubin Museum of Art is a dynamic environment that stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art of Himalayan Asia."
I was struck by two exhibits in particular. The first was on the 6th floor called "The World is Sound" This amazing exhibit actually doesn't really start on the 6th floor but on the 1st with a Le Corps Sonore (Sound Body). It is a sound installation that flows through the Museum's vertical axis, from a resonant bowl up to the ceiling on the uppermost floor. The work is the ultimate expression of Ellane Radigue's "Sonic Labyrinth," I love labyrinths, so you can imagine just how inspirational a sound labyrinth can be as you climb the incredibly beautiful spiral staircase and listen to the sound waves. It is truly an amazing piece of listening art, that coincides perfectly with the idea found on the sixth floor of "Listening with Your Whole Body" specifically, using Tibetan Buddhist principals. You will experience listening as you lay down, as you place your hands on the walls and hear chants, as you watch videos that show the impact of the vibration of sound and as you look at art throughout the floor.
The second exhibit that I connected with was Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full Frame. This exhibit was filled with the photographs of the famed photographer and his visits to India. He captures the people and the country with such depth that you feel like you are there in the picture. I was struck by what he and his camera found which included pictures of Gandhi after fasting for political purposes, just before his assassination and his funeral including the procession. The images are striking and the work of this artist is worth a visit to The Rubin or of course at The Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, France.
The entire experience made me much more aware and considerate of the Buddhist religion. I have often said I am an advocate of meditation, but this exhibit truly showed me a deeper connection to this practice and the impacted it can leave on a person and the world. I am a reader and appreciator of Thich Nhat Hanh. His book "Living Buddha Living Christ" is a perfect example of a man enlightened to see the connection between our two religions and knowing that the similarities outweigh the differences.
I think it is clear to say that I would recommend this experience to anyone visiting or living in the NY area. It is a experience to appreciate through all of your senses and especially in this time of noise and distraction it is a breath of fresh air and opportunity to really truly...... listen.
Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,