Rain, rain, go away

    The queue of less-than-eager-looking members of the public extended to the far corner of the exhibition entrance hall and wound around again. This wasn’t the H&M collaboration with luxury brand Maison Martin Margiela, this was actually for Random International’s installation entitled ‘Rain Room’, which had an average wait time of an hour and a half. But of course long queue times for this highly anticipated exhibition were to be expected, especially in the opening week.

     

     

     

    It’s been said that the British ‘love to queue’, one of the few things that we execute more efficiently than the Germans, but why people were waiting to get wet in a cold dark room in Central London was beyond me? It’s wasn’t as if it was a unique opportunity. We do experience, very often in the UK, and perhaps more often than we would like – Rain.

     

     

     

    Well actually it was unique.

     

     

     

    The lack of light in the space most likely had a lot to do with creating an atmosphere thick with anticipation. In this room you could control the rain and that was the great, unique and pleasurable part of the experience at the Rain Room.

     

     

     

    Before taking my first steps into the rain I was advised to walk slowly and had to wait my turn while others walked out slowly. You’d imagine from that description that the rain might be light and slow, somewhat like a fairytale, but it was heavy and fell quickly. Large raindrops followed one after the other in quick succession forming sheets of rain that met the rubber floor that collected the water. As I slowly walked through the small installation, it felt surreal and I felt nothing – no raindrops were falling on my head.

     

     

     

    If only we had control over the British weather as we do with this installation at the Curve, Barbican. Unfortunately our system doesn’t quite work like the impressive sensor de-activated technology to be found here.

     

     

     

    Experience it, or watch others do so until 3 March 2013 for Free.

    For more information visit: www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=13723

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