I Want to Believe - Cai Guo-Qiang

The title is straight from the X-Files, which is not something that you normally associate with the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. Yet, Cai’s work has an otherworldly feel, using explosions to create ephemeral visuals with only film, eyewitnesses, and the occasional stained surfaces to testify its existence. Cai is obviously aware of his supernatural touch, labeling many of his works as extraterrestrial, but is just as conscious of the frighteningly mundane reality they present, producing mock tigers riddled with arrows and wolf packs running headlong into an invisible metaphor of the Berlin Wall—both of which a viewer needs to circumnavigate, bringing you close to the art and making you more uncomfortable by the second. His spinning car(s), flush with electric sparkler lighting, seems dreamy and playful until the reality of its car bomb nature takes hold. The work isn’t always spectacular, but it forces a realization that art often caters to our time and that our time is as violent as it is beautiful. Thanks to Evin for suggesting and coming with me to the show.