Interactive Art Exhibitions at the MoMA: The Rain Room and “Blood-Splattered” by Imran Qureshi

From the staging of free concerts to the screening of films in various parks, the onset of the summer has been replete with stimulating, cultural occurrences. In addition to the former and the latter happenings, the months of May and June have also been marked by a proliferation of ground-breaking interactive art exhibitions. Within this grouping, a wide breadth of acclaim has been allocated to MoMA’s Rain Room installation – a breathtaking exhibition wherein motion sensors allow participants to activate streams of simulated rain through bodily movement. Bringing recent technological developments and human movement into a fluid parlance, MoMA’s Rain Room installation allows its participants to transpose the most pristine and malleable of the four elements into graceful, cascading fugues.

 As with the Rain Room, Imran Qureshi’s “Blood-Splattered” installation – situated on the roof of MoMA’s main building – represents one of the most ineliminable artistic experiences of 2013. From an initial exposure to Qureshi’s work, the macabre hue that constitutes “Blood-Splattered” has led many visitors to testify that an initial exposure to Qureshi’s style is both highly provocative, as well as singular in its treatment of violence and mortality.

 According to Qureshi, the composition of “Blood-Splattered” stemmed from a desire to address the  psychological trammels that have resulted from recent events, from the Boston marathon bombing to terrorist actions and infighting in the Near East. Rather than attempting to justify these wide-ranging occurrences, Qureshi in “Blood-Splattered” seeks to impart a sense of consolation to those who have undergone them through the modicum of painting.

 Even in the absence of this background information, it is clear that Qureshi’s intention in “Blood-Splattered” is to transcend the concept of mortality by bringing it into dialogue its direct antithesis: that of resuscitation. Emerging from the stark matter that composes the work, the vivid forms of foliage, wings, and feathers come to attain an ever-clearer distinction in the viewer’s mind. As many visitors have testified, the contemplation of Quershi’s wondrous work before the wide expanse of Central Park is a testament to the beauty and the incorruptibility of life.

For students that express a desire to witness art that is exceptional in its formal qualities, or for those that merely wish to wile away the afternoon hours in a calm and meditative setting, a visit to Qureshi’s “Blood-Splattered” exhibition is highly recommended. Remember to present your Student ID to gain free admission to MoMA, as well as other cultural institutions in the New York City area. Stay tuned for more museum-related postings in the near future!

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Pietro Crotti, New York University. Check out my Twitter!

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