We love the Hirshhorn and we’re not ashamed to admit it. If we had our way, we’d be down there every day. Even when we have a really busy week (like this one), we’ll still try to find some time to check out their new exhibits.
Tomas and some visiting friends stopped by earlier in the week to see Doug Aitken’s installation “Song 1.” If you haven’t heard about it, you still may have seen it if you’ve driven through DC at night recently. It’s a huge video that’s wraps 360° around the building paired with an interesting mashup-remix of “I Only Have Eyes for You.” While it’s visually and acoustically stunning, there’s really nothing all that new and amazing about the technology. Anyone who’s been to Vegas or Times Square within the past decade or so would probably say, “well, so what? It’s just a big projection.”
While that’s true, the location really makes it shine (ignoring the content of the piece for a moment). Calling the area around the Hirshhorn a ghost town at night would be putting it mildly – there’s no one down there after dark. Surrounding the museum are several other branches of the Smithsonian, the Mall and a slew of government buildings, most of which shut down at night. It’s one of the few spots in the city where there’s not a whole lot of sound pollution besides the occasionally passing taxi, so the atmosphere created by the Song 1 feels a lot more powerful than it probably would elsewhere. It’s hard to do the piece justice without being there, but Aitken has made a pretty fantastic video that’ll give you a taste.
We’d highly recommend checking it out. It’ll be here through May 13th, so get on down to the Hirshhorn some time between sunset and midnight before then! Or, if you won’t be able to, the Washington Post has a pretty good write-up and photo gallery, and Doug Aitken’s site has a ton more images.