Monday, December 10, 2007

Others on the ICA

When I was working on my review of the ICA’s first year, I contacted a bunch of people around town to get a sense of what folks in the community were thinking. Here is what a few of them wrote...

Shana Dumont, assistant director and assistant curator of the Montserrat College of Art Gallery in Beverly:
  • I like Chiho Aoshima's mural "The Divine Gas," but the fact that it has remained there since the new building opened makes it seem more decorative than edgy. It is nice to have the opportunity to reconsider a large-scale piece like that, but I can't help but conclude, after multiple visits, that it is closer to a one-liner than I'd initially thought. While I am sure that the funders had something to do with the duration of the mural, I'd love if the mural changed at least 3 times a year.
  • The ocean view and architecture have overwhelmed much of the exhibits that I've seen, but it's nice to have the structure set the bar so high, and perhaps it spurs the curators on.
  • I think they should've built at least one more level upward for additional gallery space. While the corridors and passageways are innovative, beautiful, and energizing to be in, the galleries are white boxes that don't seem prepared to usher in challenging new artwork.
Phaedra Shanbaum, co-director of Axiom gallery in Jamaica Plain:
Boston is considered the hub of new media. Many well known experimental and new media artists have started their careers or currently work in Boston, including Joe Gibbons, Louise Bourque, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Jim Campbell, Denise Marika, and Brian Knep. Boston based public television station, WGBH, pioneered such influential experimental programs as the New Television Workshop and the Contemporary Art in Television (CAT) Fund. The fact that in its first year, the ICA, Boston's largest and newest contemporary art museum has consistently overlooked and misconstrued this medium in shows like “Super Vision” means that it is misrepresenting its constituency and ignoring the art form that makes Boston unique, and shapes Boston's regional identity.
Todd McKie, Cambridge painter:
ICA seems more interested in work done in Berlin or London or that appears at Art Basel than quality work done hereabouts. I'd be the last to advocate for showing work ONLY because it's homegrown, but there is some high quality work made hereabouts. Why not include that work in the mix? It strikes me that the current policy is, paradoxically, highly provincial. Also, what's lazier than curating from the pages of Artforum.? Sour grapes? Mebbe.
Pictured: Official ICA shot by Iwan Baan.


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