30 December 2006

ICA

Bill and I went to see the new Institute of Contemporary Art building when I was up visiting in Boston earlier this week. Steve and Barbara and Tom joined us and we were a merry crew. As you approach the ICA from South Station across the wasteland of parking lot and construction fence, it seems much smaller than the pictures I'd seen (both photos since completion and drawings before). The cantilevered top floor doesn't really stretch all the way to Texas or Hudson Bay. Inside, the spaces were very effective. There was quite a crowd in the lobby but not chaos. The shop was crowded but we managed. The elevator has a lovely route with glass glass glass and views of the building and out to the bay. The media room which hangs off the cantilever is lovely and you can stand up near the top and just see water or go down to the front and see the walkway and the gawking people. The installation of the opening show was very nice and the circuit around the display floor is good. And that's even with fairly sizeable crowds. http://www.icaboston.org/

We went on to dinner at some Irish joint near City Hall. Tom was off to another gathering before going to a two-man version of "The importance of being earnest" in Cambridge. Bill left a message for his sister Martha before we went to the restaurant and she popped in just as we finished eating. No problem; we went on to the Ruby Room for a fancy final drink.

On the way home, we stopped at Hollywood Video for a movie and ended up with "Agnes and her brothers" (in German with English subtitles). It's pretty interesting but not your cheery little family story. As Eleanor/Katharine said, every family has its ups and downs. Agnes is a MTF transsexual, Hans-Jörg is a sex addict who kills his father and then runs away to Poland or Iraq with the porn co-star, Werner is a government minister whose wife wants to leave and whose son photographs him in awkward situations (you might have to be there, but you probably won't want to be there). Worth it, I'd say.

The night before, we'd gone to "Volver" and then to the Paradise (one of my two favorite bars in the whole world, I might exaggerate but what's life without exaggeration now and again). Volver is really good.

Now back in NYC. Before I went up to Boston, I went to MoMA and the Met. The Manet/Maximilian show at MoMA is splendiferous: great paintings and supporting stuff. Also, some good things in the photo show next door to the Manet. I really enjoyed the works by Jonathan Monk. The Tiffany show at the Met was surprisingly good. There's a three-panelled window of white flowers with translucent glass that's splendid and well-installed. I'm getting a little stir-crazy down here in the Bobst basement.

The Manet resonated a bit in the "Dissent" show at the Fogg and the Louis Philippe (pear king) stuff there resonated on Thursday morning in the gallery shows we stopped in as well as in the ICA shop which had some wax pears in a silver bowl.

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