Roberto Bolle & Robert Wilson’s “Perchance to Dream” Scared the Crap Out of Me

My friend, Oberon, told me about this exhibit – a video installation by Robert Wilson showcasing Roberto Bolle, showing at Center 548 in Chelsea, as part of Milano New York Isaloni. So I went to check it out yesterday.

Scared the absolute crap out of me! I don’t really want to say too much or it will ruin the mystery for people who go, but I’ll just say, definitely go see it – I’ve never really seen a gallery exhibit, or even a museum exhibit quite like this before. Just try not to go alone. I think that’s partly why I was so spooked. It’s very dark in there; the first room is lit only by the small amounts of light emanating from some x-ray-like photos of light bulbs.

At the beginning there’s some nice classical music playing, but then the sounds get more ominous, and at points become quite harsh.

The second and fourth rooms really scared me the most – the rooms with three-dimensional art depicting scenes both classical and apocalyptic. Some of the three-dimensional art – well, it just looked too real… I’m not even sure if I saw the entire exhibit because I was just too nervous to go to the very end of the second big room and see if there was anything around the corner. It’s like a dark maze after you enter the first room. I almost couldn’t find my way out. I think if there are more people, though, if would be obvious where the entrances and exits were. As I was exiting, there was an art critic speaking with the curator and the critic said she thought this exhibit was really compelling and should be expanded to a museum, but then said the danger of doing that would be to diminish its mystery precisely because it would be more crowded.

Anyway, another thing that startled me – I kept forgetting it was a video installation because many of the projections looked like still photos … until Bolle would move ever so subtly. It’s like the moving eyes in the portrait effect… And I never realized how doll-like he can look…  And, had I not seen Black Swan, there are additional associations I probably would not have made but…

I’ve said too much! Just go see it! I do hope they someday expand it into a larger project.

For now, it’s at Center 548, which is at 548 W. 22nd Street in Chelsea. It’s only showing through December 18th so hurry.

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