Voters looking for some peace after casting their ballots on Nov. 6 are in luck. On the Wednesday following the midterm elections, guests who visit the Rubin Museum can present their “I Voted” stickers in exchange for free admission.
While the museum itself offers plenty of spaces to contemplate the future — which just so happens to be its current curatorial focus — those who wish to share their post-election feelings can do so on the Rubin’s “A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful.”
Filling an entire wall on the museum’s main floor, the installation asks guests to fill out a card detailing (briefly) their hopes or anxieties. This card is then placed among all the other notes, joining a growing mass of comments that range from kid-drawn musings about backpacks and friends to touching reflections on life’s triumphs and losses.
The project, inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, creates a space for introspection and provides a stilling reminder of everyday endurance. Compiled since the exhibition opened this past February, the sheer bulk of the notes, stacked on top of each other and lined in a tight grid, serves as a visual representation of the accrual of time.
The exhibition fits into the museum’s yearlong thematic exploration of time, called “The Future,” which continues with a new exhibition, “Shrine Room Projects: Wishes and Offerings,” set to open on Oct. 26.
Housed in the museum’s serene “Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room,” the contemporary artworks by Tsherin Sherpa and Charwei Tsai co-exist alongside the traditional Tibetan household and religious objects of the “Shrine Room.” This juxtaposition serves as a meditation on Buddhist ritual and iconography while exploring how these ideas have shifted over time.
“Art experiences are a powerful tool for grappling with the issues of our time. From past to present, humans have been facing the future, vacillating between hope and anxiety,” Rubin Museum executive director Jorrit Britschgi said in a statement announcing the museum’s 2018 theme. “We ask: How do the timeless ideas expressed in Himalayan art help us understand and better cope with our contemporary predicaments and future uncertainties? Can we create the future by harnessing the power of the present moment?”
Top Image: The Rubin Museum's "Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room."