Director of Exhibitions Planning, Dante Birch, reminisces about some of the (crazier) exhibitions past. There’s never a dull moment at MASS MoCA!
I was asked recently to provide a blog entry. Well, I always cringe when this time rolls around because I think â€śoh my goodness, what am I going to write about?” But it turns out to be a good opportunity to look back. Things are often so busy we spend our time only looking forward.
So this is what weâ€™ve been up to lately.
De-installation of Katharina Grosse:
Installation of Sanford Biggers:
De-installation of Nari Ward:
Well I donâ€™t know about you but Iâ€™m starting to see a trendâ€¦.heavy equipment maybe?
It seems that we canâ€™t do much of anything here at MASS MoCA unless it involves a 10,000 pound booming forklift, a handful of standard forklifts, a crane, and an endless supply of chain falls and staging. Maybe thatâ€™s part of the magic of MASS MoCA? We take on these unusual projects of scale. The artist wants to suspend a boat in the gallery? Sureâ€¦let’s do it. Compared to what weâ€™ve done beforeâ€¦. What a minute, what have we done?
So, I dug a little deeper into the past and looked through the installation â€śhappy snapsâ€ť from the last few years. Â How about installing an airplane fuselage in a gallery?……….
Ok, we did that for Huang Yong Ping.
How about shoving an amusement park into a second story room with a crane?
Check! Carsten HĂ¶ller, 2006.
Didnâ€™t we knit an American flag with some bucket loadersâ€¦.
Right oh!,â€¦.. Dave Coleâ€™s Knitting Machine.
I wonder where we put that Airstream trailer Michael Oatman turned into a space ship? Thatâ€™s right, Â on top of that elevated steam pipe support out back……Sure thing.
And the list goes onâ€¦.
So in retrospect I guess I work in an unusual place. It seems that with a little of that MASS MoCA â€śpick yourself up by the bootstrapsâ€ť mentality, a pinch of â€śindomitable spiritâ€ť and an unbelievable staff, MASS MoCA gets to bring some wild ideas into being.
Itâ€™s definably changed the way I see the world. After working here, I think if an artist came to MASS MoCA and wanted to go to the moon, we could do it. Now getting them back, well thatâ€™s another matter.
Enough reminiscing, weâ€™ve got a full schedule ahead. Thereâ€™s the upcoming show Invisible Cities, a high school student show which will be on view from April 13 – 15, and then weâ€™re going to attempt to squeeze what seems to me to be the entirety of the Canadian contemporary art world into the first floor of Building 4. Hmmm. I guess Iâ€™ll see you in May.