TEMPERATURE: 51 degrees
WEATHER: sunny, cloudless
# of OTHER PEOPLE: 1
STEPS WALKED INSIDE THE INSTALLATION: approx. 3000
TOTAL TIME SPENT INSIDE INSTALLATION: 2 hours
I wanted to come be with it, because it seemed so absent of pain.
I drove nine hours across the state of Texas listening to Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, a novel about pain. I arrived in Marfa to two missives from far flung former loves, explaining their relative unavailability to me. I went to sleep with a stomach ache and woke up with a sinus infection and then drove to see the untitled installation by Robert (Bob) Irwin, referred to sub-titularly as “Dawn to Dusk.”
I recorded my walk around the echoing installation. Here it is, along with a partial transcription:
I’m here in your masterwork, or at least that’s what I’m calling it. You left it untitled but people here are calling it Dawn to Dusk.
I came here to Marfa, Texas for the majority of the month of February to spend time with your piece. I don’t have any other reason to be here but when I first saw it, maybe, a little over a year ago, it compelled me, kind of like when you meet somebody you really like and you just can’t stay away.
In such an imperfect world it’s unusual to find oneself in a space that’s seems so committed to perfection along with symmetry, cohesion, joinery, color, light. I’m committing to perambulating at least once a day for the next three weeks around your installation. Think of it like a date, I guess, without any food, where one party doesn’t interact.
Or does it?
I’ve been thinking a lot about emptiness.
It scares me. I’ve fallen in love with emptiness before, or with the types of people who carry around a emptiness and now I think i’m looking for it inside myself and outside myself.
Maybe this was a bad idea.
Why am I here?
WHY am I here?
Why on earth would a 31 year old freelance write to move to a tiny town in west Texas over three hours from the nearest airport with the sole purpose of spending time with a piece of art? What is wrong with me?
And now that I’m here all I can think about is how there aren’t any bathrooms.
These diamond shapes of light play on the scrim. They look like little slices of white Rauschenberg paintings. Or maybe one of those prints Agnes Martin made during her schizophrenic break. They stop me and clarify things for a moment. It’s worth spending some time with light. I think. After all, it’s what we’re made of.