greg.org: the making of: Greet The Light. Ask The Light How It's Family's Doing.:
Encountering a Turrell work almost always involves a moment of realization--yes, someone did call it an "Aha! moment" last night--that the solid-looking object or space you're looking at is, in fact, light. And the artist told a few stories--well-polished and funny like a favorite stone he carried around in his pocket--about getting sued by a woman who leaned against the wall "that wasn't there"; the reviewer who dismissed a piece at the Whitney as "uniformly painted"; and the viewer who leapt into that same piece because she thought it was solid, which makes no sense if you think about it, but it's funny nonetheless, and we all laugh knowingly, which is the artist's point.
turrell_moma.jpgI remember parking myself in MoMA's A Frontal Passage when it was first installed, watching peoples' reactions in the dark as they "got it." Of course, more than once, what surprised them was that there was someone lurking in the dark space with them, and a couple of people freaked when I moved because they thought I was a sculpture. The Observer Effect apparently applies to Turrells as well.