After days of heavy rain, we woke up to a brilliantly cloudless sky. We spent most of this magnificent day at MoMA, where there is an abundance of amazing exhibitions at the moment. Just to name a few: New Photography 2010, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront, and Dinh Q. Lê's installation entitled The Farmers and The Helicopters, all of which were interesting, thought-provoking and visually arresting. In the new photography, Alex Prager's work was the most engaging. There are so many great photos in the Pictures by Women show, which runs the gamut of works from Julia Margaret Cameron to Cindy Sherman. The models of New York with the rising sea level projected in 50 years are amazing to behold and contemplate. Dinh Q. Lê's work is an insightful exploration of the complex relationships between the Vietnamese people and helicopters, and their struggle to reshape this symbol of terror and destruction into one of peace and pride. The large three-channel video, weaving together the Vietnamese personal recollections of the war and clips depicting the war from Western films, was both moving and unsettling at the same time.
Outside, the Philip Johnson-designed sculpture garden, looking impeccably beautiful, is the site of a lovely piece by Yoko Ono, The Wish Tree. In the tradition of the Buddhist wish tree, visitors are invited to write their wish onto a tag, which they can tie to a tree. At the end of the day, the tags are collected into a large glass ball that is exhibited inside. Lily wrote a lovely wish list. Another Yoko Ono piece which she also enjoyed was called Voice Piece for Soprano in the museum grand Marron Atrium, where a microphone was set up with a pair of loudspeakers and visitors are invited to scream 1. against the wind, 2. against the wall, 3. against the sky. After much hesitation, Lily went up to the microphone and did an impressive bit of screaming. I wonder in which other museum can one do such a thing?