16 August 2008
Mass MoCA: Badlands
Yesterday Lynn and I drove west to Mass MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) to celebrate our anniversary. We had no idea what was showing there, we just wanted to get out of town, so I was surprised and thrilled to find two exhibits that dovetailed nicely with my latest woodblock work. One exhibit, there until April '09, is titled Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape, a show that purports to "reinvent the genre [landscape] to produce works that look beyond vast beauty to address current environmental issues." There were a number of pieces that dealt with microcosmic and macrocosmic views of the land. My favorite work of this type was two large pieces by Leila Daw who works a lot with mapping.
Also currently at Mass MoCA is a group show about China, Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China. Much of the work was photography or video-based. I particularly enjoyed a video by Catherine Yass called Lock (2006) that takes viewers on a barge traveling through the Three Gorges Dam’s massive lock. The view from the front of the barge is projected on one wall and the view from the back projected onto the opposite wall, so you really feel like you're on the boat. It made me want to see the film Up the Yangtze.
My preparations for the Great Wall of China print have been slow. Part of the slowness is because of the Olympics. There's so much information about China in the media right now -- my own feelings and views about China have felt very fluid in response to all the input. My sketches are firming up this weekend, though, so I may be starting on the print soon. If so, then this will be the first time I've ever worked on more than one print at a stretch, as I've also started on a print called "The Well" (see previous post). It will be interesting to see what it's like to work on two projects at once, or if one falls to the side in favor of the other.