"Are We There Yet? 5,000 Years of Answering Questions with Questions": Art Review

Location Info


Contemporary Jewish Museum

736 Mission
San Francisco, CA 94105

Category: Museums

Region: South of Market


Through July 31 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission (at Third St.), S.F. $8-$10 (18 and under free); 655-7800 or www.thecjm.org.

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The contemplative walk is rightfully celebrated as a ritual of high importance, and here, at last, is the perfect museum hybrid: an audiovisual exhibition that asks visitors thought-provoking questions as they roam to and fro. High-tech sensors recognize where guests are heading, causing the next audio speaker to offer (in soothing young and old voices) ruminations like "What is beauty?," "When does life end?," and "Do you love me?" Jewish culture has emphasized inquisitiveness for millennia, but this exhibit is meant to appeal to people of all beliefs. Inevitably, visitors will want to answer the questions — if not aloud, then in their heads. Questions, then, lead to conversations. And getting the words out in midstroll — in a skylit room designed by Daniel Libeskind, no less — is an exceptional blessing. You can even contribute your own questions to the exhibit. Who would have thought?

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