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“These Days: Elegies for Modern Times” Opening at MASS MoCA

Rural Intelligence Parties and OpeningsApril showers—of both the rain and snow variety—did not deter large crowds of visitors from attending the opening reception of These Days: Elegies for Modern Times at MASS MoCA. It’s a definitively dark show, appropriately enough for the cloudy weather, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those who gathered to get the first look at work such as Pawel Wojtasik’s panoramic video of post-Katrina New Orleans, Below Sea Level, a stunningly powerful immersion in sights and sounds of the Crescent City. Other installations also make use of the dark, such as Micah Silver’s penumbral fantasy environment, The End of the Safari, or the darkened room in which Robert Taplin’s series of sculptures, Everything Imagined is Real (After Dante) —based on the Inferno—glow like wood-burning stoves. The curators posit that these visual elegies may be lamentations, but that they also present prospects of hope and possibility. This may be true of MASS MoCA, where the parking lot was full on the exhibition’s opening day, and where attendance has been on the rise. — Bess Hochstein

Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Micah Silver, whose mixed-media installation The End of the Safari was inspired by an Yves Saint Laurent safari-style jacket, with violinist Tom Chiu, founder of the Flux Quartet.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Sue Killam, managing director of performing arts at MASS MoCA, with theater artist Sebastienne Mundheim, whose Sea of Birds was presented on the day of the exhibition opening; MASS MoCA founding director Joe Thompson with Larry Rosenthal.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Maggie Mailer with Pawel Wojtasik , whose panoramic video, Below Sea Level, displayed in a cylindrical structure (much like the cycloramas of the 19th century) with a 35-foot diameter, surrounds viewers with the sights and sounds of New Orleans; Realtor Nancy Kalodner with executive recruiter Doug Shufelt.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Choreographer Hélène Lesterlin,  a curator at EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, with daughter Sophie Vos and composer/installation artist Sean Griffin, currently an artist-in-residence at EMPAC.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Artist Karin Start and MASS MoCA director of marketing Katherine Myers;  Julie Chase of The Clark and Stuart Chase of the Berkshire Museum.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Stephen Hepworth, curator of the University Art Gallery at UCSD, with artist George Bolster, whose Reckoner is part of the exhibition.
 
Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings Rural Intelligence Parties and Openings
Michael Conforti, director of The Clark, with Joyce Bernstein, a MASS MoCA trustee; Rick Monahon, an architect in Peterboro, NH, with MASS MoCA Foundation Board of Trustees chairman Duncan Brown

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 04/05/09 at 06:46 PM • Permalink