In just a couple of weeks, Sanford Biggers’ show The Cartographer’s Conundrum will be at MASS MoCA.Â With another exciting installation about to take place in our giant Building 5 gallery, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the shows that have graced this enormous space in the past.
1999-2000: The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece
In 1999, Robert Rauschenberg’s extensive work was our first major exhibit in the space. This self-contained collage-like retrospective of mixed media also served as the setting for MASS MoCA’s grand opening gala.
2001-2003: 14 Stations
In 2001, Robert Wilson’s sculptural installation 14 Stations filled the space. It was a seminal interpretation of the Via Crucis or “Way of the Cross”- referring to the moments of passion Christ experienced en route to crucifixion. Visitors could peer into each structure to experience the different scenes and figures along the way.
A few years later, nine exploding cars took over the 300 foot long gallery, suspended from the ceiling with multicolored rods shooting in all directions. This dramatic stop-motion moment served as the centerpiece for Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s show Inopportune.
In 2007, Jenny Holzer transformed the space with large-scale projections of selected poetry by Wislawa Szymborska. Coupled with giant bean bags scattered throughout the room, visitors were invited to sit back and absorb the surreal landscape and accompanying messages.
2008-2009: The Nanjing Particles
In 2008, English conceptual artist Simon Starling animated the huge exhibition space with large sculptural forms derived from microscopic particles.
2009-2010: Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With
A year later, IÃ±igo Manglano-Ovalle explored the failings of Modernism with his upside-down glass house. The exhibit was based on Mies van der Rohe’s uncompleted project The House With Four Columns (1951), a square structure open to view on all four sides through glass walls. Everything hung in suspension and a phone rang off the hook.
Up next…. Stay tuned for Sanford Biggers’ show, opening on February 4, 2012!
Here’s to many more amazing shows in the future!