“Will you blindfold me?,” I asked the tall guy standing next to me.
He took the blindfold and looped it around my face, securing it at the back of my head.
“Is this too tight?,” he checked in with me.
I extended my arms to the left of me to grab for the wall. I could feel him anticipating my fall, but it was easier to stand blindfolded then I thought.
I felt alone. But, I wasn’t. In a crowded room of around 100 people, we all waited to hear the bell strike three times before we could remove our black cloth blindfolds and orange ear plugs.
There was pop art, there was surrealism, and there were blindfolds for a special night at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (220 E. Chicago Ave.).
Magician, Jeanette Andrews’ free experimental illusions performance and interactive set, Thresholds on January 26, 2016 from 6:00-7:00 pm, wowed crowds. Using a combination of research in philosophy, psychology, and art, Andrews drew in the crowd with her personality, but kept them there with her mind, and most importantly—by blowing their minds.
Museum goers received a one-time demonstration on the stage and in their hands.
Andrews’ presentation helped the audience to see their senses in a new light and have a little fun with magic.
Dressed in a short-sleeved black top, everything about her felt genuine, and yet surreal.
Below is the kit we each received during the interactive, perceptual illusion presentation.
Creating a Scent From Fiji Water + Your Thoughts:
The most exciting part of the Thresholds presentation was when she brought an audience member to the stage and during the demonstration, the audience member could smell the scent that she was thinking.
What was scarier, was that the audience smelled it, too.
Using just Fiji water and a spray container, she prepared the fragrance. Everyone wrote down a scent—their favorite or a particularly pungent smell—on an index card and passed them to the stage.
Andrews flipped through the cards and gave kudos to the “sawdust” and “Doritos” scent.
The audience member on stage drew a card that read “lemonade”. Andrews sprayed the bottle, and the volunteer gasped. It smelled like lemons.
We didn’t chant “lemonade” or meditate on it. It was an instantaneous motion of drawing a card and spraying a bottle.
Can we really re-create a smell through our minds? All of us—at the same time?
Andrews went around the crowd and sprayed it and it did, it smelled not slightly, but strongly of lemons.
Towards the end of the night, the old lady behind me whispered to her husband, “I think I need a drink.”
Andrews wasn’t done drawing in the crowd with her charismatic personality. She used cards and blindfolds to create further shock-and-awe.
For a taste of the Thresholds show, add Windy City Cosmo (Username: Rationalization) on Snapchat. Hurry, like magic, it will disappear by 7:30 pm tonight!
Art Museum Exhibits:
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has some incredible and vibrant art exhibits. One of the most eye-catching art exhibit is the pop art collection on the top floor that includes Campbell Soup, Andy Warhol works of Jackie O., and sexism in advertising. Museum goers can be part of the art by sitting in the pop art lounge with a big red lip couch and other pop art inspired furnishings made from Herman Miller, a Midwest furniture manufacturer.
Oh, and did you see everyone on social media going to the Oval Office? There was one installment in the “Kathryn Andrews Runs for President” exhibit, where you walked around a cylinder and could take a selfie in the Oval Office.
POP ART DESIGN
Dec 19, 2015–Mar 27, 2016
THE STREET, THE STORE, AND THE SILVER SCREEN: POP ART FROM THE MCA COLLECTION
Dec 19, 2015–Mar 27, 2016
ASCENDANT ARTISTS: KATHRYN ANDREWS: RUN FOR PRESIDENT
Nov 21, 2015–May 8, 2016
SURREALISM: THE CONJURED LIFE
Nov 21, 2015–Jun 5, 2016
EIGHTH BLACKBIRD RESIDENCY
Sep 1, 2015–Jul 10,2016
MCA DNA: RAFAEL FERRER
Sep 19, 2015–Mar 6,2016
ENDS THIS WEEK
BMO HARRIS BANK CHICAGO WORKS:ANIA JAWORSKA
Aug 25, 2015–Jan 31,2016
Free Chicago Art Museum Day:
Every Tuesday night is a free night for Illinois residents at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago located directly behind Michigan Ave’s shopping mall, Water Tower Place. Plus, the museum is open for extended hours, until 8:00 pm on Tuesday nights.
For more information about upcoming shows by Jeanette Andrews, visit her website.