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The stereotypes of New Yorkers are that they’re rude, they only wear black, and they all have therapists. Sanitorium, the first installation of Guggenheim’s new program, stillspotting nyc, explores the smorgasborg of therapies that help the city’s neurotic residents keep their lives together.
The installation is one of many that will take place over the next two years as a part of stillspotting nyc, which explores stillness and quiet in the hectic city. The program enlists architects, designers and composers to transform “still spots” into public tours, events and installations every three to five months.
For the first installation, Artist Pedro Reyes transforms the storefront level of One MetroTech in downtown Brooklyn into a temporary clinic in early June. According to the Guggenheim:
In two-hour windows, Sanatorium visitors experience up to three sessions from over a dozen options through meetings with a series of “therapists.” Balancing reality and parody, Sanatorium draws from Gestalt psychology, theater warm-up exercises, Fluxus events, conflict resolution techniques, trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, and hypnosis.
The sessions include Ex-Voto, in which visitors express thanks for a blessing, which an artist will then render into a small painting; Epitaphs, in which a therapist will facilitate the inscription of one’s tombstone; and Gong Pavilion, in which vibrations from nearby gongs are applied to acupuncture points.
The venue, a 23-story skyscraper in Brooklyn and former home to Bear Stearns and Keyspan Energy, may strike some as an odd choice for the Guggenheim, but the program is part of a trend to move the museum’s Architecture and Urban Studies programming into the city, as is increasingly apparent with BMW Guggenheim Labs and FutureFarmers, which included events at the Gowanus Canal, in the East Village and other offbeat locations.