Putting Kids to work at Kidspace


Fun was had by all at Kidspace’s Merpeople-making session on December 29.   Here some of the participants display their mermaids and mer-gents.  James Grashow’s spectacular cardboard mermaid (shown above with her school of friends) and Aurora Robson’s recycled plastic bottles were the inspiration for the art project.  Photos of some of the participants with their creations follow.



















Posted December 30, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Kidspace
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Disney Recycles–and We Don't Mean Plastics

Disney recycles, just probably not in the way you are thinking!  They may recycle old bottles and newspapers, however they definitely recycle animation.  Artist Oliver Laric points this out in his documentary Versions, featured in our Memery exhibit.  Take a couple of deep breaths before watching because the evidence may taint your image of the “Wonderful World of Disney” (:45-2min):

Versions highlights the widespread re-usage of images throughout the history of art, so don’t worry, Disney isn’t only at fault.  However, Laric emphasizes how such recycling of images is iconoclastic in that the art that was once unique loses much of its significance as it is re-mediated.  These Disney segments are shocking because their originality and individual magic has been undermined, essentially leaving them simply as versions of one another, hence the title of the documentary.

Though Disney is not the only one reusing images and animation, it is quite rampant through their history.

 Here are some other examples of Disney’s recycling habits.

Guilty:  Robin Hood, Aristocats, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, the list goes on and on and this vid exposes them all!

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Posted December 28, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Memery

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Sol LeWitt Here + There

One of the most fascinating aspects of a Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing is that it can never be the same from one exhibit to another.

Every time a Wall Drawing is put on display, a group of draftsmen paint or draw a new interpretation of the piece.  In following Conceptual Art, when the idea behind the art takes precedence over the actual piece of artwork, LeWitt writes a set of directions of how to create each piece of artwork.  The directions drive the art process.

Before creating the new piece, wherever the Wall Drawing is currently located must be painted over so it no longer exists in that setting.  Even if MASS MoCA wanted to relocate one of our Wall Drawings, the artwork cannot be moved, it must be repainted in the new space.

Only one official interpretation of a Wall Drawing can exist at one time; once the previous one has been painted over, the draftsmen are free to start their work.  The draftsmen then use LeWitt’s directions to create their interpretation.  However, every draftsman and every space is different, meaning that each time a Sol LeWitt is put on display, it is inherently unique.

Check out how varied, and at times similar, Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings can be even when they are rooted in the same directions!

Wall Drawing 146A at MASS MoCA.  The “A” in 146A refers to the original (146) being white wall with blue crayon and this piece having blue walls with white crayon.

146 at the Guggenheim in NYC in 1972.
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Posted December 21, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, BLOG

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Secrets of MASS MoCA: Phyllis Criddle

Every museum has a well-kept secret.  Whether it’s a stolen sketch, a haunted hallway, or a hidden painting tucked beneath another print, such covert wonders are proudly guarded as they help form each cultural hub’s individuality.  Today we reveal one of our favorite secrets—Phyllis Criddle.  You may not have heard of her (yet) because we have been keeping her all to ourselves.

Though only 23, she’s worked at MASS MoCA for 7 years, more than half the life of the museum! Starting as a member of the Art Fab crew, she went from working with hardware to working at Hardware, the MASS MoCA Store, where she is now the assistant manager.  Phyllis does more than run the store.  She has created a custom line of MASS MoCA clothing and accessories, embodying the museum’s mission of catalyzing new, bold art, which includes her famed Wilco dress (seen above, modeled on Phyllis).

Her first MASS MoCA creation was a dress crafted from the museum’s logo-splashed t-shirts.  Completely hand-sewn and definitely one-of-a-kind, the dress was rumored to be purchased by one of the creators of the video game phenomenon Rock Band.  His wife even appeared at MASS MoCA this past summer, wearing the dress to the Bang on a Can Festival.  Phyllis also was commissioned to create Katharina Grosse inspired tablecloths, which were draped over every table at the museum’s 2011 Benefit in New York.

The buzz around Phyllis has recently grown ever since she debuted her Wilco fashion line, created out of hundreds of wristbands from the Solid Sound Festival held at MASS MoCA.

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Posted December 19, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Hardware, Secrets of MASS MoCA, Wilco Solid Sound Festival
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The Perfect Gift for that Crafty Friend

Looking for that cool present that will give you the status of most-skilled gift-giver? A present that is artsy and defies science?

Look no further, it’s stocked in our shop, and it’s called Grass Logic.  That’s right, just like Tree Logic, our upside-down trees that welcome visitors to MASS MoCA.

Here’s how Grass Logic works!

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Posted December 13, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Hardware
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The Mango Tourists on Vacation

We asked visitors:  If Nari Ward’s Mango Tourists could be taken out of the museum and put anywhere, where would you put them?

  • Jamaica—At a Beach w/ Piña Coladas
  • Hanging upside down from the floor of the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower
  • In a thunderstorm cloud
  • In a garden
  • In my front yard with Christmas Lights all around
  • Africa
  • I would put it on the museum roof
  • In my memory
  • Central Park! It would be cool to start a Sculpture Garden
  • Somerville, MA
  • Pier 6, NY, NY
  • Downtown North Adams Outside Park area
  • Hollywood!
  • In Lindenlea Park in Ottawa, ON
  • Along the wooded path at the Clark
  • A Parisian sculpture garden
  • Paris Pyramid Entrance to the Louvre
  • I like it where it is! (so do we!)
For now they’ll be at MASS MoCA until April 3, 2012.  Come visit the Mango Tourists!

Posted December 12, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum
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