Most of the time, you can’t touch art. It kind of sucks, because art is so beautiful! It just hangs there, so luscious and lovely, under a halo of golden light. Of course we want to touch it. But we can’t, because the oils on our hands literally destroy the art. Seriously. Fingerprints from our visitors are etched into the polished copper faces of our Donald Judd sculpture because the oils eat into the surface of the work. Gross.
But there are some artworks that invite interaction. I’m a big fan of those. You might remember the Mom Booth by Andy DuCett, or Water Bar by Works Progress—both artworks included in our 2014 exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. Or maybe you’ve partaken in the voluminous pile of green apple candies that constitutes Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (L.A.) (1991), which I helped to bring into the collection last year. In each case, these artworks break down the traditional barriers that define the art experience. Instead of “don’t touch,” they invite interaction and participation.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, October 4 and 5, you’ll have another chance to experience interactive art—this time, outside the Museum itself. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, Crystal Bridges, in partnership with Visit Bentonville, will present the Truth Booth at Lawrence Plaza, next to 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Bentonville. The Truth Booth is an interactive artwork—a 20-foot-long inflatable word balloon with TRUTH emblazoned on the side and a small video-recording studio inside. Visitors can enter the studio and record themselves finishing the sentence: “The truth is…” It’s a project of the artist collective called Cause Collective, and they’re taking it on a 50-state tour in advance of the presidential election. Come see us—there will be music, food, fun, and plenty of truth. And not only can you touch the art—you can go inside of it!