Reflecting on a closed artwork


Yesterday I was ambling through Pavilion Gardens in Brighton when, from a distance, I noticed that Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Sky Mirror had been installed in a corner facing the Royal Pavilion. I thought I’d take a closer look and strolled across the grass towards it. This manoeuvre was spotted by a woman in a high visibility jacket who was sitting on a chair a few feet from the mirror.  She approached me wearily, announcing “I’m sorry sir, it’s closed. It opens to the public tomorrow.” I politely retreated but did wonder how a reflection of the sky technically could be ‘closed’.

The exchange reminded me of an old Michael Heath cartoon of a grumpy-looking gallery attendant sitting next to an installation piece lamenting “no, I don’t where the gents are, I’m part of the bleeding’ painting.”

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