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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Reflections from I Wish Your Wish

This past Friday I volunteered at Ignite Phoenix #9.  It may have been the best Ignite event that I’ve ever been to.  The event was held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, across the way from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).  We had some down time before the event and Matt Petro suggested that we take advantage of the break to go over to the I Wish Your Wish exhibit.

(cc) Nick Bastian from Flickr

I had seen something in an email about the museum, wishes, and wearing ribbons, but I had no idea of what it was about.  We grabbed Jeff Moriarty and headed over to the exhibit.  I was not prepared to walk into a room where three of the four walls had rows and rows of colored ribbons hanging on them, each one printed with a wish.  The sheer volume of them was breathtaking.  There were sixty different wishes inscribed on six thousand ribbons, each one a ¼ inch wide.  The artist, Rivane Neuenschwander, asked her family and friends and their family and friends to write down a wish and that’s the pool she used for the exhibit.

There was a little table/shelf on the blank wall that held slips of paper and mini golf pencils.  We were invited to write one of our wishes on a slip of paper, roll it up, and exchange it for a ribbon on the wall.  I felt like I was given an intimate glimpse into these strangers’ lives by seeing their wishes.  There were so many great ones to choose from.  Jeff suggested that I take the one that said, “I wish one day I would have a dog.”  That is one of my wishes but that wasn’t the one that resonated with me the most.  I selected a wish that was printed on a pink ribbon – my signature color – and put my wish in the empty hole.  The ribbon said, “I wish to die with no regrets.”

The museum employee took my ribbon and tied it around my wrist with three knots.  She said when the ribbon falls off that the wish will come true for the person who originally made it and for me.  The wishes that people leave in the wall will become the pool that the artist uses to create the next set of ribbons.

Powerful doesn’t even begin to describe this experience.  I’m going to miss having my ribbon when it finally falls off.  The exhibit will be at SMoCA until June 5, 2011.  If you’re in the Phoenix area, you should go.  It’s an experience that should not be missed.

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