In this week’s issue of New York magazine, chief art critic Jerry Saltz recounts his recent one-night stand with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Saltz is among the lucky few to have scored a stay in Carsten Holler‘s “Revolving Hotel Room” (pictured in our photo at right) now on view in the museum’s “theanyspacewhatever” exhibition (you know, the one with Pinocchio‘s watery corpse?). For Saltz, “what seemed like an unbelievable chance to carry out my fantasy: an opportunity to spend the night with my wife on a rotating queen-size bed fitted out with satin sheets on the sixth ramp of Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Guggenheim Museum” turned into something else entirely. Rendered solo by his wife’s travel plans (“D’oh!”), Saltz arrived, showered, and changed into his pajamas, then got to fulfilling a few night-in-the-museum fantasies:
…[I] began roaming the museum (at one point sneaking into a classy office to put my feet up on the desk and pretend to call Bilbao). I lay down on floors and stood in empty galleries. At first, it was all a delight. Then it got weird. I felt very alone, as if I were in one of those last-person-on-Earth films. Paranoia set in, as the museum turned into a modernist minimum-security prison, a panopticon, and instead of feeling in control via looking at art, I felt like I was the thing being looked at. OMG, were there cameras trained on me? Probably.
Under Angela Bulloch‘s LED night sky, sleep ultimately finds Saltz, and he awakes, refreshed, to breakfast in bed (tea, croissants, pain au chocolat) and a warm fuzzy feeling:
The Guggenheim, where I’d been a thousand times, looked utterly new to me. I was in love with the place. The museum had become a cradle of sorts; the environment seemed whole and enveloping. I had the strange feeling of having merged with the structure, like we really had slept together.