Martin Creed at the Nasher: A (non)fictional reaction

by Lucia Simek April 13, 2011

Wife: So? How was it? Terrifying?

Husband: No, it was amazing! Totally different than I expected. I got completely lost in there and had to feel my way out .

Wife: Holy crap, that sounds like my worst nightmare.

Husband: But it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced — it made my whole body feel completely different, and blind, without any sense of direction. You have to blindly wade through, groping around in an orange latex wonderland, with no sense of direction. I mean you go in there thinking you know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and then you just necessarily get lost. Just lost! I mean, you feel so vulnerable. It’s so powerful. Emotional.

Wife:  Everything makes you emotional. This thing sounds like hell to me, though. Blind? Directionless? Seriously?

 Husband: Well, yeah — it’s just like a giant ball pit, like at Chucky Cheese’s. You liked those when you were a kid, right?

[Wife looks off, shrugs]

Husband: What?! You didn’t like ball pits?! What sort of a sham kid were you?

Wife: No, no I didn’t. I hated them. Felt like I was drowning. Spent my entire time having fake fun, whilst frantically searching either for the floor of the pit or the quickest, most unembarrassing way out. I hated ball pits. Please tell me Martin Creed’s balloon room does not feel like that.

Husband: It feels just like a ball pit, only the balls go all the way over your head. [raises  eyebrow antagonistically]

Wife: [shudders] So, it’s like being under water? Really deep water?”

Husband: Yep, just like that. [laughs, at her].

Wife: Well great, that’s just freaking great. I hate deep water. Shit. I hate going under water. Hate feeling like I have to test me old lungs for a bit, and call it fun. How the hell am I supposed to write about this thing if I can’t even go in the gallery to see it? Thanks, Mr. Martin Creed for your great big room fulla balloons that make me feel blind, directionless, and sort of like drowning. Awesome — cheery, buoyant masochism. F-U-N.  How’d he get clearance on this thing? I mean, isn’t everyone completely claustrophobic in a room shoved full of balloons?

Husband: Nope. It’s awesome. I almost cried.

two days later

[Wife, holding child, claws madly out of gallery filled with balloons, escapes to the other side of glass wall, breathless]

Bystander: Oh, did the baby get scared in there?

Wife: Uh… yeah. Terrified. Almost cried.


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Arual April 14, 2011 - 09:04

funny. How do the balloons not pop? and did it sound awful?By sounding awful i mean the balloons rubbing together?

Lucia Simek April 14, 2011 - 09:11

seriously, i was hardly in there long enough to hear anything except my pounding heart. but the husband did say there was hair stuck all over the balloons. but he loved it. so did the kids. wish i could have loved it too.

Rainey Knudson April 17, 2011 - 15:14

Just imagine if the balloons were black.

Lucia April 17, 2011 - 17:33

Banish the thought.

Paul Rogers Harris April 18, 2011 - 10:08

I haven’t experienced it yet but I will. The Nasher Sculpture Center is such a wonderful place where the cares and frustrations of the world go away as one enters through the door.

Matthew Golden April 21, 2011 - 10:00

the experience is wonderfully engulfing. went in with 4 friends last weekend and we havent had that much fun with sculpture in many years. Cheers to Mr. Creed!!

Kelly Megert May 10, 2011 - 14:33

It’s fantastic! Don’t be scared! After all, it’s just a bunch of balloons. Hard not to smile and hard to stop smiling after.

Rusty September 14, 2018 - 14:15

Hahaha, not to laugh at people’s pain, but do you think that this says something about Texans and their need for wide open spaces? I’ve always imagined his work with ballons as absolutely dreamy… I tried to convince a local museum to let me fill a storage room with them so as to give a class of art campers a similar experience, for some reason they passed on that. lol But isn’t having kids masochistic as well? Perhaps minus the fear of loosing a kid in there, the experience might be less traumatic?


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