I know, I know; I'm not supposed to write about other people's galleries, it doesn't help our SEO. But in October I wrote about the opening of RH Contemporary Art, the gallery extension of the home furnishings retailer. Now I’ve visited and can write from a basis of experience.
Imagine that someone hands you a 5-story building in Chelsea, enough money to rebuild it from the studs as a top-drawer exhibition space, staffing, a budget to keep the lights on, a web design team, and no immediate mandate for a return on investment. A tempting dream to spend some time in, isn't it?
The basement exhibition, where RH’s new media lives, is marvelous. The collective Random International, creators of the very popular (and RH-sponsored) Rain Room at MoMA last year, showed the witty and thought-provoking installation Audience. As you walk onto a low platform, dozens of small mirrors mounted on cute but slightly disturbing feet angle toward you and follow your every movement. If more than one person walks on the platform, the mirror creatures make unpredictable choices that favor some visitors more than others. The work speaks to two major themes of our times, self-absorption and surveillance.