MASS MoCA

20 11 2017

Mass Moca ticket

A friend texts on a Friday night: “Wanna go to MASS MoCA with me tomorrow?” Sure, I think, getting out would be a healthy thing and I like MASS MoCA. We arrange transportation details and, first thing Saturday AM, we start off.

The time in the car flies by, as we catch up on each other’s life since we last spoke. His mom had grown up in North Adams, so this is a home-coming for him, although he’d never been to the museum before. I love the Sol LeWitt material, mainly the concept of prescribing a piece of art in the way LeWitt does.

MASS MoCA Turrell Fred AlbertA highlight of the visit is James Turrell’s Perfectly Clear. We are part of a timed entrance into this space, where the docent explains that the back wall appears to continue on, but actually is alarmed on its edges because there is a five-foot drop. With special paint enhancing the experience of light, this exhibit requires us to don protective clothing. (Small aside: MASS mOCA BOOTIESI am so overwhelmed with the instructions and light that I quickly slide the provided blue covering on my head, only to be gently corrected by the docent that these are for my shoes. Oops.) We enter the exhibit and it feels foggy, entrenched in thick air and I look at my hands to confirm they still are visible – it is so convincing. As the light show continues, when I close my eyes, I see the complementary colors. A very fascinating experience.

I am totally enthralled and curious about Dawn DeDeaux’s digital drawings, particularly one of a lace dress and another of a figure cloaked in a quill-covered garment. A new medium for me, and I strike up a conversation with a student who has used this method in one of his classes. He describes the process and I wonder how much of this is true art and we get into a discussion about that. If I use a typewriter, word processor, or hand-write, it is still words coming from my head. But if I use a computer to generate strokes and color, shading and such, am I doing graphic design or art? Ah, I certainly am not one to make those types of decisions.

My legs are tired but my companion wants to see ALL the buildings because he’s not sure when he’ll return. So, we streak through the Sol LeWitt and a few other floors before we (or at least I) collapse in the car for our two-hour trip home. Grateful for the proximity of this eclectic quirky museum.

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