Opened in June of 2012, James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University was his 73rd completed Skyspace project. It is only a couple hundred yards from the primary parking lot for the university’s football stadium, but, shielded by the Shepherd School of Music, the construction hides itself from the steadiest stream of casual university visitors.
Since first starting to consider Turrell seriously after viewing his retrospective last year at LACMA, I’ve wanted to say that his work is post-representational. The use of totalizing color spaces, the manipulation of that most ephemeral substance light, the infinite rooms—I have a desire to say that when entering one of his spaces, I exit the world of real things. I am allowed to, momentarily, vacillate between wave state and particle state. But as I see more of his work, including “Twilight Epiphany,” I think more and more that this urge reflects my own underlying desires and drives to find a clean exit rather than that of the work itself.