February 24, 2016

Standing in the Rain Without Getting Wet (Updated for 2024)

[Last updated 2/10/24—"Rain Room" was on display at LACMA in Los Angeles until January 22, 2017. It has now found a permanent home with Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates.]

I thought that the whole point of the "Rain Room" art installation was to stand in the rain without getting wet.

And yes, if you walk slowly enough—and especially if you reach your arms straight out in front of you—you'll trip the sensors to turn off the sprinklers overhead as you proceed forward.

But who wants to stand in the rain without getting wet?

The entire point of life is to get wet.

Isn't the point of art to get wet?

Well, needless to say, during my much-anticipated visit to the Rain Room (which I'd been waiting for since I'd first read about its New York City run), I got wet. I didn't try to get wet, but I couldn't not get wet.

I take up too much space. I walk too quickly. I'd rather know what the rain feels like and dry off later than stay dry the entire time.

Like the Infinity Mirror Room, most people were there to get a photo snapped of themselves inside. I wanted to photograph other people, but more importantly, I wanted to photograph the rain itself.

By the time the security guard told us that our 15 minutes were up, I couldn't escape those raindrops. They were on my camera lens, in my hair, and dripping down my face.

And that, I'd say, is a good thing.

Related Posts:
Today's Moment of Clarity: Get Out of the Car
Getting In the River
Photo Essay: The Broad Museum & Its One Big Draw

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