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The Nanjing Particles Installation

From fabulous Marketing Intern Caitlin Foster:

Today I peeked into Building 5 with a few of the other interns to check out the latest phase of installation for The Nanjing Particles, Simon Starling’s upcoming show at MASS MoCA. Being able to witness the actual installation of a show as massive as Starling’s has been fascinating, and something I have been making a point to check out from week to week. Building 5 is open to the public during the process of setting up the show, something you don’t usually see in most museums, making it all the more worthwhile to observe. The installation is based on a photograph of Chinese workers brought in to break a strike in a shoe factory that was formerly housed in what is now MASS MoCA’s campus. This week saw Starling and the crew applying wallpaper depicting the expounded photograph to the large forms that you see when you first enter the room.

The Opening Reception for The Nanjing Particles will be held on Saturday, December 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm (remarks at 6:30 pm). The event is free to members/ $6 for not-yet-members. RSVP to the Opening Reception by calling 413.664.4481 x8112 or by e-mail. 

After the opening, join us for a work-in-progress showing of we become by dance company-in-residence LAVA.

Posted December 9, 2008 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Interns, Openings, Work-in-progress
3 Comments »

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3 Comments on “The Nanjing Particles Installation”

  1. Richard Harrington Says:

    Artistic sarcasm is directly proportional to powerlessness.
    And it probably accounts for the content of Mr. Starling’s work. I “should” admire that…but I don’t.

    Wouldn’t a wiser approach be to focus on the great mystery of life and art, rather than the proliferation of merely sanctimonious propaganda.

  2. Karen Matthews Says:

    The symbolism in this work becomes more and more interesting the more you take the time to think it through. In most works of art the symbolic references are set in fairly straightforward layers. In the Nanjing Particles, symboism goes back and forth between the micro/macro images and when you return to the first layer you realize that the initial images can be seen in a different perspective if you relate them to other elements in the chains of thought the exhibit puts into motion. Like a good book, its not something that the viewer can take a quick look at. But taking the time to think through the relationships among the symbolic elements can lead to a series of “AHA!” moments that make this exhibit one you will want to see again and again.

  3. Barb Cone Says:

    The Nanjing Particles is the only work I’ve seen in the large gallery that is a complete disappointment.
    The photo of the Chinese workers is the beginning of a story any artist would love to get his or her teeth into. After that intriguing beginning, what do we get? Shiny, amorphous sculptures that have something vaguely to do with a chemical component in the photograph. Like, who cares?
    Boy, did Starling miss the boat.

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