LONDON — Five figures stand cocooned in the radiating steel cables of the Brooklyn Bridge — four of them are naked and covered in painted spots, hanging out beneath a banner that reads “SELF-OBLITERATION.”
I awoke from a daze when I walked into Boris Mikhailov’s Case History at MoMA. All of the sudden the white walls and sleek designs I’d come to expect from Friday-night strolls were replaced by muted flesh tones and a feeling of being watched. It was almost as if I’d switched roles with the work. Not able to shake the feeling, I began to internally justify why I was so impacted by a few images and listing all the predictable ways they seemed exploitative, but that didn’t help. I’d been affected in a way I couldn’t pinpoint.