Akhob: A Jaw-Dropping Work of Art Hidden Inside a Louis Vuitton Store

Did you know that there is an art installation on the fourth floor of Louis Vuitton’s Maison City Center store? In 2013, the luxury brand commissioned an art installation of renowned contemporary artist James Turrell. It is called Akhob, which is an Egyptian term for “pure water”. It is one of the three works of Turrell in Las Vegas. Another is located in the same store and the other is at MGM Resorts International executive.

james turrell light artist
The works of contemporary artist James Turrell is more about your view of it more than his. Photo courtesy of James Turrell’s website.

At first, Akhob was exclusive to VIP shoppers. Perhaps, the initial intent of the luxury brand was to make the shopping experience of their patrons extra special. Years passed, Akhob became open to the public for free! Nonetheless, just like the majority of the important things that people want in life, experiencing Akhob requires effort and patience. For one, it requires that you schedule an appointment to see it in advance.

Later on, I will further discuss the things you need to take note of in order to see Akhob. For now, let me tell you more about the experience of it.

Here’s how it goes…

  • Once you’re in the store, just inform any of the staff that you are there to see the art installation.
  • The staff would escort you to the fourth floor via an elevator.
  • The floor is beaming in white. You will be asked to put on shoe covers to keep the floor that way.
  • The staff will then give you a heads-up on the flow of the experience.
  • The art installation operates in a 24-minute cycle (other reference sites claim that it operates in a 25-minute cycle).

Oh, you may not take photos during the entire experience, by the way. Why? Well, the way to appreciate the art installation is through experience. And taking photos would keep not only you but also others with you from obtaining a full experience of it.

So, what happens during the experience of Akhob?

In a Garage article entitled “What Happens in This James Turrell Installation Stays in This James Turrell Installation”, author Sarah Valdez stated that the experience goes like this:

  • The visitors will take a few seconds inside a dim antechamber. This allows their eyes to adjust to the new lighting condition.
  • The visitors will then climb a staircase.
  • The staircase leads to a semicircular door which creates a view of another semicircular door.
  • The experience creates a sense of submersion, hence the meaning of Akhob.
akhob ganzfeld effect
Akhob is Turrell’s biggest Ganzfeld work. Photo courtesy of James Turrell’s website.

Akhob is categorized as a Ganzfeld, which is a German term for perceptual deprivation. By far, Akhob is the largest Ganzfeld work of Turrell.

Ecstatic to see Akhob?

The reservation to see Akhob is booked for about two months. Additionally, only six people can view Akhob at a time. These conditions just imply that you must reserve ahead of time. Want to book your reservation now? Just call (702) 730 3150. The store is open from Thursday all the way through Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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