Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston


If it’s going to rain and act like April/November all summer, I’m going to check out a lot of museums.
The ICA is in a 2004 Diller/Scofidio/Renfro building directly on the Boston waterfront, adjacent to the Fan Pier. The city has been pouring money into this area and there are a bunch of empty condos, refurbished factories, parking lots- it has an unfinished look to it and it was a strange foggy day. I stood on the large windy deck of the museum and looked down into the Harbor and saw the unmistakable movements of a transparent jellyfish. Then I knew I was in a Swedish movie for the day. (PS. there was also a cormorant. Take that East River!)

I enjoyed the Shepard Fairey exhibit way more than I thought I would- When you look at it all together, the artist’s rabblerousing intentions and mastery of marketing imagery are overwhelming. As a N.E. kid, I’ve been seeing those stickers since they started but had never thought much about the motivation behind them. And the colors, icons and imagery just plug directly into all the little preprogrammed circuits in my brain, pleasing and confusing.

My favorite other piece you can see a still from up there. It’s a short film by Javier Tellez called Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who See. Tellez took a group of blind New Yorkers into McCarren Pool in Brooklyn, with a live elephant. Each person spent some time with the elephant, touching, smelling and hearing it. The filmmaker recorded it in gorgeous black and white, the tentative exploring hands of the people on the rumpled skin of the elephant, with a commentary by each person. So interesting.

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Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

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