By Mary Mullaj
The magician/performance artist David Blaine lived in a glass box suspended from a crane for 44 days in London. Photographer Sophie Calle paired text and photos to tell the story of public spaces in Jerusalem that people consider as private. Michael Wolf, in his Transparent City series, photographed Chicago architecture and examines the people that inhabit these buildings. Philip Lorca Dicorcia affixed a camera to a scaffold in Time Square, creating a series of photos that contrast private interior moments and public space. Blurring the boundaries of public and private domains, or creating private spaces of public ones, is a concept that has been toyed with by various contemporary artists. However, no one’s done it quite like this before. As part of the “anyspacewhatever’ group show at the Guggenheim, artist Carsten Höller has created an installation called Revolving Hotel Room, that provides art lovers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night inside the museum. The occasion is the ultimate in luxury. First of all, the construction is highly limited in production (there’s just one), and second because of the added extravagance of having the Guggenheim to one’s self overnight. Wandering the rotunda is permitted.
The art piece, constructed of “wood, leather, silk, glass, feathers, cotton, horse hair, latex, acrylic glass, metal, and motor,” consists of three glass discs, superimposed on one another and mounted on a fourth disc. The piece revolves harmoniously at a very low speed. After the museum closes for the evening, the art installation becomes an operative hotel room, equipped with luxury amenities provided by (MALIN+GOETZ) New York apothecary and a bathroom complete with shower. Although the Waldorf-Astoria Collection helps support the project, it claims no responsibility for the accommodations. No word on whether the discs continue revolving during the night, but guests will not have to worry about becoming part of the spectacle since the public space becomes very private after-hours.
Prices range from $259 (the Monday night student special) to $799. Unfortunately, at this time all dates have been sold out according to the Guggenheim website. Maybe the Revolving Hotel Room will go on tour, allowing more opportunities for sleepovers at museums worldwide. The show will be up until January 6, 2009, so while not everyone will have a chance to spend the night, they will still be able to see the installation.