Night at the Museum
by Jerry Saltz
I have always wanted to have sex in a museum. To me museums are ecstasy machines, places to experience rapture and the real thing is the real thing. So I jumped at what seemed like an unbelievable chance to carry out my fantasy: an opportunity to spend the night with my wife on a rotating queen-size bed fitted out with satin sheets on the sixth ramp of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. The work, Revolving Hotel Room
, is Carsten Höller’s major contribution to "theanyspacewhatever," a show devoted to the amorphous non-movement known as Relational Aesthetics. Höller’s "room" has no walls, is out in the open on a large round Plexiglas platform and has a guard posted nearby. If you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, the guard follows you. Intimacy under these conditions seemed dicey, but I had to try. And then, two days before our night in the museum, my wife’s travel plans changed. She was going to be out of town that night. D’oh!