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William Forsythe @ ICA Boston

  • Institute of Contemporary Art (map)

As a belated Valentine’s Day excursion, Aisha and I visited the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), catching the last weekend of its William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects exhibit. Pitched as an interactive show blending art and movement, it was something we’d been meaning to see for months.

We got there early in the day, knowing we’d need to snag a timed ticket to enter the Forsythe exhibit, which only allowed a limited number of people in at a time due to its hands-on nature. While we waited for our 12:30 PM time slot, we explored the other exhibitions on the fourth floor, which included a few interesting (sometimes head-scratching) contemporary pieces, including a crocheted room (YES a crocheted room!) and a deconstructed camera. One unique work, called The Visitors, played videos of different folks playing instruments all on individual screens, but together they made lovely, somewhat haunting song.

Even with our timed ticket, the Forsythe exhibit was high-traffic. It was a Saturday, after all. Spread out and taking up at least half of the fourth floor, it included only a few pieces, as each one took up a whole room, for the most part. Works included (described best to my ability, hah!):

  • A room with a tall, wide screen that reflected the participants, delaying and wiggling their movements in the playback

  • A room with dangling hoops that participants climb and swing across, attempting to make it from one side to the other — a contemporary art obstacle-course of sorts. This was the busiest room, and because there was a long line, Aisha and I were fine to watch others climb (and sometimes fall)

  • A room with two videos of gravity-defying choreography

  • A crawl-space. Cement floor = 1, My knees = 0!

  • A room with chalkboard instructions for movement on the walls (walk nine steps forward, nine steps back.. that sort of thing) — also a bit tough with the amount of people

  • A room (my favorite) that you are invited walk through, from one side to the other, trying not to touch or be touched by the many dangling, swinging silver pendulums at your feet

Even though we passed through the rooms at least a couple times — crawled, walked, wiggled, spun in circles, dodged pendulums — it still felt that we went through it all pretty quickly. Especially when compared to our last visit to the ICA to see the Mark Dion exhibition. I suppose that’s the nature of a gallery with such large pieces — there’s just fewer of them. We concluded our visit in the seaport overlook, where a woman was having an intense fashion photo shoot by the windows.

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Later Event: March 16
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