Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the basement of Mass MoCA

Currently Mass MoCA gets 5% of its energy from solar panels on top of the museum's roof.

The Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective is open and will be up for the next 25 years. The gallery space for the work looks amazing. There also is a nice video showing the apprentices creating the work. There was over 60 people working on the drawings during the install, that should be an indicator of how much work is the space. It spans three floors specially renovated for the retrospective with earliest work on the first floor to later work on the top floor. Personally my least favorite work was in his mid career.

In the largest gallery Simon Starling: The Nanjing Particles

Here is what the museum has written about Starling.

"Starling investigates the social, cultural, and material implications of object-making, examining how his own artistic
processes overlap with industrial production. Engaging with MASS MoCA’s industrial past, Starling’s installation began
with an 1875 photograph of a group of Chinese immigrant workers brought to North Adams to break a strike at the
Sampson Shoe Company (once located on what is now MASS MoCA’s campus). Literally and figuratively mining this image,
Starling extracted silver grains from the photograph and presents these particles as stainless steel forms enlarged one
million times their original microscopic size. Forged and hand polished by workers in Nanjing, China, the sculptures
connect the museum’s past and present to global economic conditions. The shiny forms reflect the museum’s historic
architecture as well as the visitors who have replaced workers in the space."

Up on the second floor at the back of the large gallery there are tables set up with documentation of the process of making The Nanjing Particles. There were contact sheets for the enlarging of the images of the silver taken from the photo to create the silver objects in the installation. Also on the table were books documenting this project and other projects Starling has worked on.

After spending time in North Adams this summer and learning more about the history of the town and the Mass MoCA campus I really appreciated this work.

On a side note, the surfaces of the silver sculptures reflectected the ceiling and the windows of the building in a very exciting way.


it is chilly.

I was rejected from Vox Populi in Philly this weekend, and rejected from Smack Mellon's (in New York) residency program but was named a "hot pick", so I will be on their web site.

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