Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The return

Ahh, Boston. Ahh, city with sweet goal line stance of desperately pushing for winter in North America (sans Denver, Colorado, I suppose). Snow greeted me upon my Fung Wah arrival.
It was like from the Gods or something... See, Winter does exist-- just a bit further north and east.

New Year's consisted of eating as much food as humanly possible in a 48-hour time period, going to very loud obnoxious "scene" concerts," (now I know why I retired from these people), hanging out at people's homes I'd never met, getting lots of hugs from friends from my 20 something scenester days, kissing the cheek of the sweetest and softest dog on the planet and simply reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen in years.

Alas, I have to say the new Boston ICA was a mixed bag. The building is stunning from the "back," or is it the "front?" No one can tell for sure, with the no-frills "ass" greeting your entrance, and the cantilevered hanging "front" viewable only to Logan air traffic controllers, whale watch tours and tugboats, but what they CAN tell is nothing is ever a done-deal in Beantown... meaning, "Hey, let's open the dang thing whether it's ready or not. Wicked pissa!!"
They probably spent millions on just the 50 person elevator alone and then... it doesn't work...(eerily reminiscent of the tunnel that cost $12 billion and then kills a person. All right!) (photo credit by rekha6 on Flickr.Com)

Oh, stroller parents struggling on the stairways, I feel your pain... but I'm sorry, your kid wasn't gonna "get" the Mona Hatoum, Christian Jankowski or Layla Ali anyway.
Best part of the day was the grandfather telling his granddaughter to watch out because they might knock the Koons "Rabbit" over, because he's sure it's a real balloon. "I wonder how it keeps standing up like that. They must tape it down." snicker...

Either way, the art was very nice-- the brilliant Jankowski piece especially (art dealer vs. electronics store owner switching roles in Chinatown).
The fantastic Julie Mehretu work was brilliant, but badly combined in a room filled with Koons.
A better option would be to find a current Koons and juxtapose with a Rosenquist for humor's sake.
Even the floor plan is confusing... (1 floor of art in a 4 floor building? WTF???) with video pieces seemingly banished to small, badly thought out places in the far reaches of your imagination... (poignant pause)... or "the corner." Nobody puts baby in a corner... except the ICA.

And hello! You simply cannot display an Oursler work in a room that has light FLOODING into it from a side gallery. Who the hell thought this was ready for viewing?
I've always been amazed by Oursler's work, but it felt tiresome this go-around.
The thing that works best about Tony Oursler has always been the creepy SOUNDS as well as the visuals. This time, there were none-- either that, or the audio wasn't working.
In fact, even the giant Mac Lab for research of the ICA's collection WASN'T WORKING.

Even with the growing pains and kinks, I'd rate it a 7.5 on my 10 scale.
At least it ain't Impressionists-- the only art Boston has ever truly claimed as its ultimate bragging rights.

Back to the reaches of NY city I go.


Your proud Mom said...

Do they treat you better at the art places in Boston than they treated us at the Met? That's what counts.

Oly said...

Hell yeah.
Suggested donation, my ass.