Examining the relationship between creativity and the altered state is Frances Alys’ Narcoturismo (1996), which focuses on the artist’s journey of walking through random neighborhoods under the influence of a different drug every day. The piece also includes a list of each drug taken by Alys during his intoxicated voyage. In the 26-minute video Halcion Sleep (1994), Rodney Graham documents his sleepy ride through the rainy streets of Vancouver after consuming the drug Halcion.
Artistically reincarnated built-environments include Carsten Holler’s Upside Down Mushroom Room (2000) and Jeppe Hein’s Invisible Moving Wall (2002), where a gallery wall slowly starts to close in on viewers at an imperceptible pace.
But this new-age art fest wouldn’t be complete without a few more technologically advanced works like Chiho Aoshima’s City Glow (2005) and The Muriel Lake Incident (1999) by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. These artistic designers use audio and film to portray a drug induced futuristic city and miniature movie theater diorama, respectively.
Ecstasy: In and About Altered States at MOCA is an easy yet legit excuse to set your inhibitions free and experience what it feels like to get high – without inhaling.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is located at 152 N. Central Ave., in Los Angeles. Museum hours: Mon, Fri 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat, Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Tue, Wed. Price: $8, $5 students with valid ID, free Thursdays 5-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.moca.org.