Saturday, April 4, 2009

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Went back to the Institute of Contemporary Art today, so Mrs. Sgt. Tanuki could see the Shepard Fairey exhibit.

The museum itself is great. Not only are the contents worth seeing, but the building itself is really cool, hanging out over the water in a way that looks cool from the outside (if you happen to see it from the side), and gives you a great view across the harbor to the airport from the inside.

But that coolness isn’t apparent as you approach. From the land side the place looks like a nondescript box. Following the directions on the museum’s website, you approach through a no-man’s land of wharfside buildings, and are then confronted by what looks like a very ad hoc parking lot. Poorly marked, with broken-down fences, stacks of construction debris and dismantled police barricades, haphazardly placed concrete dividers that are crumbling leaving their rebar exposed, random piles of sand, broken pavement, temporary buildings, hard-to-see signs, odd geometry, and double-painted contradictory parking lines. Unattractive in every way. On the far side of this you see what must be the museum, because it has Andre the Giant’s face on it, but from the street you can’t see an entrance, so you wonder if you’re actually in the right place. Taking it on faith you walk through the parking lot, and if you happened to pick the right direction, then yes, there’s the entrance. From there on you’re good.

The whole thing is so typically Boston. There’s some really cool stuff here. But to get to it you have to wade through some really unwelcoming and ugly shit.

1 comment:

Cat said...

This cracked me up. SO TRUE