On one of these dog days of summer, treat yourself with a refreshing visit to the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, for a dip into the featured exhibition: Ansel Adams: At The Water’s Edge.
After decades of knocking on museum doors, photography finally got invited in as a full-fledged member of the arts establishment. And it did it by following the perennially popular advice, "To achieve success, just be yourself and do what you do best." Now, it seems, every museum is jumping on the bandwagon and mounting photography exhibitions.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has magnificent collections of objects housed in an extraordinary building, but I go there rarely, as so much of their permanent collection is, in fact, colonial plunder. Too often I have left enraged at the flaunting of stolen goods or disturbed by what must have been a lifetime of work identified with its owner and not for the unrecognized craftspeople who created it.
On a Tuesday night in December, when much of New England was hunkered down against the cold, hundreds of people stood on the sidewalk in front of the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, to view the light projections of artist and social activist Jenny Holzer. For the site-specific work, which the museum commissioned in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its Leonard and Merle Nelson Social Justice Fund, Holzer chose selections from the poetry of Nobel Prize-winning, Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska.
From August 26-29, the Boston branch of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) will welcome hundreds of members from arts and media communities nationwide for its biennial national conference at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Founded in 1980, NAMAC is a nonprofit consortium of over 300 media, visual, and interdisciplinary arts organizations serving to support and advocate for the media arts. The conference, titled CommonWealth, will be co-hosted by the Center for Independent Documentary and other local media and arts-related organizations.
BOSTON/Jamaica Plain - In a time when new iPod models are released every few months, the ways in which we work, play, and express ourselves have become increasingly dependent on digital technology. It may be surprising that a group of twentysomethings can already feel nostalgic for the objects that marked their childhood, but the relentless rate of technological change means that once familiar products such as VHS tapes, cassettes, floppy disks, popular toys, and Polaroids have become antiquated in a relatively short period of time. Four local, young artists react to the rapid change of popular culture in their exhibit ICONOGRAPHIC: Analog Representations of Youth Culture in a Digital Age. The show opened last Thursday evening at JP Art Market, a gallery and studio run by artist Patti Hudson in Jamaica Plain.
BOSTON/Fort Point - Since June 12, the Odysseus Project has been on display at the gallery Art @ 12 in Fort Point. The exhibit, featuring "work by artists and veteran-artists focusing on issues of war and the experience of veterans returning home," will run until July 25. The project is the vision of organizer and co-curator Anne Loyer, a film-maker and multimedia artist who wanted to offer artists a forum to creatively communicate their opinions and reactions to wartime experiences.
BOSTON/South End - Peter Schumann wants to ferment your brain. He’ll provide the vat filled with sourdough bread, garlic, and the crucial ingredients for political transmogrification, including subversion, corruption, and lots of symbolism. When he’s done with your grey matter, he says he’ll give it back.
Actually, Schumann, founder and impresario of the Bread and Puppet Theater, hopes you’ll attend the Sourdough Philosophy Spectacle and Circus, with performances through Sunday, February first at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama in the South End.