Touch the Art
The museum worked with Chicago Works artist Andrew Yang to develop the first of its artist-led touch tours.
One thing I thought was so important about having the opportunity to have a touch tour was that so much of these sculptures have to do with visual play and trickery, and the fact that something looks like something but really isn't, or is something but might look like something else. And so, for the opportunity for people to actually touch those objects gives a whole nother layer but also helps sort of, like, subvert maybe even the ways that I want to play with the audience. They have another way that they can assert and intervene with the way that they interact with the work.
And with the sand in particular it was important to me because originally as I conceived the project I wanted people to be able to engage with the materiality and feel the sand, to get that sense of intimacy. Since a lot of this exhibition for me is about this question of kinship and intimacy, then to always have to keep people at a viewing distance rather than not giving them an opportunity to touch I thought was a shame. So, having that one last chance to have on the last day people actually touch the material and get physical with it was really wonderful.
Yeah, I didn't – it did seem like a lot of people were having great conversations around it, I hope. And it was a real pleasure to get to actually have – again, like, because a lot of it was based on visual play, when I was talking with the visually disabled and blind people about the objects and touching those objects with them, I got a very different experience of what those objects are and what their sensibility metaphorically and literally is because I was engaging with them so much in a visual way. So, it's an important – another important modality for me to get in terms of a perspective on the work.