Friday, September 11, 2015

A visit to 29 Rooms

Today I went to a warehouse right on the edge of Greenpoint to see this massive temporary art/fashion installation by Refinery 29. On the one hand, it was a lot of advertising, and I'm not used to feeling brands breathing down my neck like this--one of the 29 rooms was just Puma shoes dangling from the ceiling, another had "#nordstromrack" laminated here and there on the walls. (Along with the really corporate ones, some of the rooms were made by independent artists, like Petra Collins.)

On another hand, the whole installation was perfectly calibrated to be Instagrammed, and (to my surprise) I enjoyed being surrounded by people unabashedly taking photos and selfies at every corner. Sometimes I feel like a dick because I always have my camera out, but the whole atmosphere here was (obviously) very welcoming to that.

On the third hand, the event had its playful, beautiful and delightful moments--funhouses were always my favorite at the State Fair, because they're non-competitive, and the thrill comes from discovery. I loved the blacklit room with the magically fluorescing feathers, the winding path through shiny red ribbons to the Minnie Mouse area, the hallway, lit in rainbows that kept shifting, the Print All Over Me room, with gauzy floral walls and gauzy floral kimonos to wear in front of them, and the cloud room. I stood under one of the clouds, and private music played all around my head.

this room had several different small mirror chambers. a woman's voice softly asked questions like, "when do you feel most yourself? when you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?"

solange knowles's room!

no selfie shame...well, maybe a little

petra collins's bathroom

The installation is only open one more day--tomorrow--and if you're willing to wait on line ~20 minutes, I recommend it! I was going to say, I recommend it despite the weird corporate advertising factor, but that was very interesting to me--I know us millennials are supposed to be all about experiences rather than products, and Refinery 29 offers this experience up so tidily with a little bow on top. I can't imagine a more zeitgeisty event.

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