NE Ohio museum gets immersive display of balloons

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 9:45 am •  Published: September 15, 2012
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CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Museum of Art is filling a glass gallery with purple balloons piled 8 feet high, while inviting visitors to walk through the "immersive" art installation in a nod to a contemporary art museum also opening in the city this fall.

The balloons will be in a glass gallery — bathed in natural light and viewable from the outside — that recently held sculptures by Auguste Rodin, The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/QCUCym) reported. When the doors are opened and balloons spill out, museum guards will help to replace them.

Guests may feel playful or disoriented in the balloon installation by contemporary British artist Martin Creed, which opens Sept. 30, the newspaper said.

"We'll tell people which way the floorboards run, so if they get turned around and anxious, they can follow floorboards and find their way out," chief curator C. Griffith Mann said.

Staff members at the museum say the balloon display salutes the new Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, which opens in October. The balloon installation also conveys the presence of contemporary art at the older, larger museum, which is undergoing a $350 million expansion and renovation.

"We want to do something to coincide with MOCA's opening and to show that the (Cleveland Museum of Art) is increasingly back on line, coming back to life," Mann said. "We want to engage the inside and outside and do it in a way that's playful and celebratory and do it in a way that's highly visible."

Meanwhile, some of the Rodin sculptures from the installation that ended its three-year run this month will be moved to a different gallery in the museum.


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