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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Clockwork for Oracles

The Institute of Contemporary Art, which moved from the Back Bay to the Seaport District in 2006, could be considered a whole new museum from its previous incarnation, and as such could be called the newest art museum in Boston. The ICA is constantly changing the shows on display in attempted to keep its content fresh and invite viewers to constantly return time and time again. The Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, the first thing one sees when entering the building before even entering the museum proper, has only had three installations on it so far, and the newest is amazing.

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone is responsible for the latest installation on the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, Clockwork for Oracles. The massive wall spanning about two stories has been papered with pages from the Boston Globe. These pages were then covered with a thin layer of white paint so the black ink of the text and images on the paper barely shows through. From a distance it looks like intricate designs were painted on the wall until you get up close then you can barely make out the text. On top of this many two-pane ‘windows’ of all sizes have been hung. These ‘windows’ consist of a black frame and two pieces of colored, mirrored glass; the whole thing is shaped like a rectangle hung long-ways. The reflections in the glass are clear, though colored like the glass. The colors used are all the primary and secondary colors with a few lighter shades (mainly of the blues). It reminds me of glass Christmas tree ornaments laying on the tissue paper they were wrapped in for storage (I know it’s the wrong time of year for this analogy but go with it). Unfortunately I have not been able to find an artist’s statement for the installation as I had hoped it would shed some light on the process and the ideas behind it.

It costs absolutely nothing to see the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall. It’s right inside the door to the ICA before you pay to go in. If you happen to be in the area stop in and take a look, it’s amazing in its complexity and simplicity. If you’re not in the area you don’t really need an excuse to go see it, the ICA is relatively inexpensive to get into and you can take some time and see what else is on display (like Tara Donovan).