THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART'S NEW MULTI-ARTIST PROJECT EXPLORES THE BOSTON HARBOR ISLANDS
The ICA's new public art project opening June 23, 2007, includes four new projects by leading contemporary artists and architects created in response to the rich terrain of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. Art on the Harbor Islands features work by Ernesto Pujol, Teri Rueb, Anna Schuleit, and Office dA's Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani. The project, encompassing sculpture, drawing, audio, and performance art, will remain on view through October 8, 2007.
"Public access to Boston Harbor lies at the heart of the ICA's civic commitment," says Jill Medvedow, Director of the ICA. "Art on the Harbor Islands offers dynamic new ways to explore the Boston Harbor Islands, their complex history, and their current importance as a National Park Area, engaging all the senses and celebrating these natural resources."
"These artists' unique responses to the Boston Harbor Islands affirm for me yet again the power of the creative process," says Carole Anne Meehan, the exhibtion's curator. "All of their projects illuminate and reveal meaning embedded in this rich terrain in ways that could not be predicted."
Ernesto Pujol, The Water Cycle, Spectacle, Lovells, Georges, and Little Brewster Islands
With The Water Cycle, Ernesto Pujol connects the new ICA to the water metaphorically through a series of four walks, held on June 23, July 28, August 25, and September 22. Pujol's projects explore the relationship between the body and the landscape, introducing contemplative gestures into the public sphere. Wearing authentic late 19th-century seaman's clothing, the artist plays the role of the "Water Carrier," a silent pilgrim who travels to a number of the Boston Harbor Islands to collect water in hand-blown glass vessels and returns them to the museum where they become part of a sculpture. Pujol invites the public to join him for all or part of these round-trip journeys, which begin and end at the ICA. Ernesto Pujol serves on the faculty of the Pratt Institute New York City, and is a Fellow at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Teri Rueb, Core Sample, Spectacle Island
Core Sample is an audio piece that responds to the complex, storied past of Spectacle Island, which has served a variety of uses throughout the 20th century. Rueb combines natural and processed sounds to evoke what lies beneath the island's surface, while also calling attention to its present soundscape. Her piece can be heard at twelve locations on the island using headphones that can be borrowed from Spectacle's Visitor Center, and at an interactive sculpture in the ICA's Founders Gallery. A pioneer in using Global Positioning technology in the arts, Teri Rueb has created interactive sound walks for Boston's Back Bay, Yoho National Park in British Columbia, the Wadden Sea in Germany, and a shopping mall in Estonia. She resides in Cambridge and is Associate Professor of Digital Media at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Anna Schuleit, Waterside, Lovells Island
Schuleit, fascinated with Lovells's peculiar mix of crumbling military ruins and rugged, natural beauty, has spent extensive time there, including living in a yurt on the island during the summer of 2006. Housed in a similar yurt, Waterside takes us inside Schuleit's artistic process, presenting a display of three-dimensional models, drawings, and artist's books that imagine two ambitious site-specific projects. Intertidal would place 10-foot-high, mirror-like walls in the island's intertidal zones, while Sightlines, a series of four large-scale drawings etched on glass, would be situated on Fort Standish's four gun emplacements. On several occasions throughout the exhibition, Schuleit will be present to answer visitors' questions. Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2006, Schuleit creates temporary artistic works for public settings that are both grand and intimate. In 2003, she presented Bloom, filling the Massachusetts Mental Health Hospital in Boston with 28,000 flowers cascading throughout its corridors and rooms.
Office dA, Voromuro, Georges Island
Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani of Office dA are creating a new sculptural installation for the interior of Fort Warren's Powder Magazine on Georges Island. Voromuro is made with interlocking acrylic "boulders" that form a semi-transparent 16-foot-high structure, referencing both the New England rural stone wall and the fort's extensive stone masonry. Office dA is a progressive, award-winning design firm that creates domestic and public architecture, interior design, and artistic projects world-wide, including the Macallen Building, Boston's first fully "green" condominium development.
Art on the Harbor Islands is organized by ICA curator Carole Anne Meehan. A brochure for Art on the Harbor Islands will be available at the ICA and at Spectacle Island's Visitor Center.
Ferries, operated by Harbor Islands Express, depart hourly on weekdays and half-hourly on weekends from Long Wharf by Christopher Columbus Park to Spectacle and Georges Island. Lovells is reached via an inter-island shuttle that departs from Georges. One fee, $7-$12, covers round trip and all inter-island transportation. For more information about the Harbor Islands and visiting them, go to BostonIslands.com.
Art on the Harbor Islands is supported in part by the Nimoy Foundation, the LEF Foundation, and Urban Glass through a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The ICA is grateful to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership for its invaluable support and assistance, with special thanks to the Island Alliance, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the City of Boston.