In today’s New York Times, there was an image from Carsten Holler’s exhibition currently on view at the New Museum. One of the works is called “Psycho Tank: a translucent white polypropene container…filled with water that is heavily Epsom-salted and heated to 98 degrees. Birthday suits are encouraged…”. I find it fascinating that A) one is a given a chance to have such an intensely relaxing experience inside a public institution and B) that a photograph of it was printed in the New York Times (by Chang W. Lee). Amid images of million dollar works of art, people in business suits making decisions that will affect millions, and violent catastrophies from around the globe, there is a photograph of a naked man in a state of perhaps heightened meditation and contemplation. I created a “viewfinder” of sorts with this image and used it to look at the rest of the images in the newspaper. As the other overwhelming scenes of the day enter this serene one, they are transformed and given a new context, one that perhaps makes me feel a little less “psycho”.

 

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