Bloomberg News

Scene in D.C.: Jane Cafritz, Martha Raddatz, Doug Aitken

March 23, 2012

Doug Aitken's "SONG 1" illuminates the facade of the Hirshhorn. Photographer:Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Doug Aitken's "SONG 1" illuminates the facade of the Hirshhorn. Photographer:Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden put romance in the air with an artist’s film projected on the circular building’s facade.

It was the debut of Doug Aitken’s “SONG 1,” which features random people in everyday situations singing the classic love song “I Only Have Eyes for You.”

“If I weren’t married, I’d want to be proposed to in front of this,” said museum trustee Jane Lipton Cafritz as she and her philanthropist husband, Calvin, stood at sundown last night with others gathered al fresco to view the short film.

Miami-based art collector Mera Rubell said she made the trip to Washington to see the beauty and “mystery” that always accompanies Aitken’s work. The artist showed his 2007 multimedia installation “Sleepwalkers” on the facade of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Rubell caught up with Richard Koshalek, the director of the Hirshhorn, who is credited with bringing the California-based Aitken to Washington. Koshalek compared notes with D. Dodge Thompson, the chief of exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art.

ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz joined a group for a discussion with Aitken in the Hirshhorn’s Ring auditorium moderated by Kerry Brougher, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator.

‘Museum for Insomniacs’

Aitken joked that his work is “like a museum for insomniacs” because “SONG 1” and many of his other public works can be seen only at night.

“I found myself looking around, and this is not a usual crowd,” noted Raddatz, referring to the modern-art power couple Aaron and Barbara Levine, seated just a few rows away.

After Aitken’s talk and taking in “SONG 1,” which runs through May 13, guests headed upstairs for a buffet dinner featuring make-your-own Chinese take-away and chocolate-popcorn- to-go bags.

“SONG 1” will become part of the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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