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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Future of Art Invades Boston’s Waterfront

The Future of Art Invades Bostons Waterfront

The architectural firm of Diller Scofidio and Renfro has designed one of the most stunning buildings in Boston. The glass building that seems to point to the sea on South Boston’s waterfront is a marvel in itself. And what is inside will keep you thrilled and entertained. It is the new home to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art). Once housed on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, the ICA has now found its home in the first new art museum built in Boston in over a hundred years, on Fan Pier. In a city built on tradition this is a place for the nontraditional to bask in the fruits of human imagination.

Once inside, we are greeted by the art wall, a mural that graces the lobby. Japanese artist, Chiho Aoshima, was commissioned to create Divine Gas, a vision of futuristic magic in a lush landscape. A short trip up the Willy Wonkaesque glass elevator in the West Gallery is Super Vision. This is an exhibition that explores the different ways we see the world. It takes advantage of the ways that technology has changed our view of the world around us. We are given three rooms of some of the most mind bending art we are ever likely to see. Highlights include Anish Kapoor’s Turning The World Inside Out, an egg shaped piece of steel that reflects and distorts the entire room. Josiah McElheny’s Czech Modernism Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely features a silver serving set in a mirrored box that seems to extend forever. James Turrell’s New Light looks like nothing but a red rectangle projected onto the wall, but upon closer inspection is revealed to be much more. Yoko Ono’s Sky TV is a television that shows the viewer a live view of the sky over the museum. The most quirky addition to the exhibit comes from Jeff Koons. Rabbit is an inflatable rabbit holding a carrot in silver that, like Kapoor’s “egg”, reflects the viewer as well as the room around it.

Once we are finished with Super Vision, it is a short walk along the Founders Gallery with a window that looks out over the harbor to the permanent collection. The photography of Philip Lorca-diCorcia, Nan Goldin, and Boris Mikhailov are found here. Each of them approaches their portraits in a different way, as some are intimate while others of a more voyeuristic nature. Cornelia Parker’s Hanging Fire is a collection of the charred remains of a suspected arson that are hung by wire from the ceiling, creating a floor to ceiling sculpture that not only smells of a bonfire, but looks that way too. Here we also will find Thomas Hirschhorn’s wooden sculpture Wood Chain VIII (Pisa Tower), a huge wooden chain attached to a recreation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Mona Hatoum’s Pom Pom City is a round rug made of natural wool with pom poms reaching out in all directions.

The East Gallery holds the first work in Momentum, an exhibition used to showcase new developments in modern art. Tropicalounge by Sergio Vega is an entire room of tropical imagination. It uses furniture, photography, text, video, audio, sculpture, and others to transport the viewer to a tropical South American wonderland.

Finalists of the John and Audrey Foster Prize, a prize given to “Boston artists whose work demonstrates adventurousness, conceptual strength, and skillful execution” are also found in the East Gallery. Sheila Gallagher presents landscapes made with smoke on canvas, as well as Cumulonimbus, a wall of live flowers that are watered by a trickle of water flowing behind them. Jane D. Marsching creates digitally manipulated images of people in the barren tundra. Kelly Sherman is the artist behind Wish Lists, a collection of forty lists of desired objects. And Rachel Perry Welty graces the museum with Wall, 128,000 silver twist-tie rings looped together into a shimmering floor to ceiling column.

The museum is located at 100 Northern Avenue, right between the Moakley Courthouse and Anthony’s Pier 4. On Thursday nights after 5, thanks to sponsorship by Target, the museum is free. So take the walk over the bridge and make your way to the ICA. See some wonderfully imaginative art and catch a bite to eat at Wolfgang Puck’s Water Café, located in the museum. Open your eyes and your mind to a whole new world of creativity.

About the Contributor
Michael Hogan served as the following positions at The Mass Media for the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2008; Fall 2008 Arts Editor: Spring 2007; Fall 2007