Everyday Entanglements in Boston

Posted on September - 24 - 2018

Damian Ortega

Damian Ortega "Olympus". Photo: Jose Carlos Escobar

One of the major bonuses (at least for us!) is the opportunity to check what the local museums and galleries are showing. And as any visit to Boston demands, Scoop Art paid a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). An oldie among museums in the area, the ICA was founded in 1936 and has been moved around over a dozen times until it finally settled down in 2006 the impressive South Boston Seaport District building designed by the renown New York-based architecture studio, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

At ICA, one of the major exhibitions presented to visitors this quarter is “Entangled in the Everyday” the 13th instalment of works hailing from the ICA collection.  The show was threaded with themes of everyday engagement and entanglement when mundane and vernacular artefacts are appropriated to convey more profound meanings. The exhibition includes many engaging artworks, including Tara Donovan’s 2008 Nebulous where the artists used cellulose adhesive tape to create a very inviting cloud on the museum’s floor. Another immersive art piece was the impressive installation by Faith Wilding. Born in Paraguay, Wilding immigrated to the US, the piece in Crocheted Environment was done in 1972, and was exhibited in the iconic 1972 exhibition Womanhouse organized by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. The work is engaging and entangling, highlighting the critical relationship between contemporary art and crafts.

Faith Wilding “Crocheted Environment”. Photo: Jose Carlos Escobar

Also, another work that shines through the collection is Damian Ortega. One of the most influential artists from Mexico in the 1990s. Ortega appropriates everyday objects such as tortillas and pennies subvert traditional notions of sculpture. Olympus is made out of metal, plastic and sectioned camera. As Ortega’s interests in deconstructing everyday materials are evident with other works such as Cosmic Things and Controller of the Universe, in this work, he deconstructs the mechanisms of a camera, and it becomes evident about the relationship with image making and the refraction of both light and materiality.

The exhibition was compelling and it encourages viewers to think about everyday objects that surround us in a form of material anthropology, and reflect on how they shape us and how we could reshape them. It just proves that it’s worth taking time to visit the city’s main museum, which never fails to prove some food for thought. Which one is your favorite museum?

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

Damian Ortega “Olympus”. Photo: Jose Carlos Escobar