Press release


CONTACT:  Joyce Linehan (617) 282-2510,

(BOSTON - December 16, 2008) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents a full schedule of ambitious performing arts programming, including cutting-edge music, dance, film, talks and more. Tickets for all programs will be available to ICA members at Associate Level and above on Dec. 16, 2008 and to the general public on Jan. 2, 2009.  Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (617) 478-3103. For information about membership, visit the web site or call (617) 478-3102.



New Music Now
Organized in collaboration with composers Ned Rothenberg and Marty Ehrlich, this series presents some of the world's best and most adventurous musicians and composers.  Each evening will offer two unique sets. 
Tickets: $25 reserved seating; $20 members, students, and seniors.

  • Friday, Jan. 30, 7:30 pm      
    Shelley Hirsch and Theo Bleckmann/Ben Monder Duo
    An Evening of Vocal Magic
    Hirsch presents a collage of song, spoken word, and vocal accompaniments to a selection of film soundtracks composed by Bernard Herrmann. She twists the aural images of Fahrenheit 451, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor into a narrative filled with free associations, autobiographical stories and sonic pictures.  She will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismailly. Performing together for close to 15 years, vocalist Theo Bleckmann and guitarist Ben Monder create a unique approach to what might be called "jazz art song," blurring the boundaries between jazz, classical, ambient and rock.
  • Friday, Feb 13, 7:30 p.m.
    The Necks and Craig Taborn
    Brave New Piano Worlds
    Voted Australia's top jazz group by Time Out Sydney and one of Australia's top ten musical ensembles of any genre, The Necks are a phenomenon-the piano trio as minimalist cult band. The group features Chris Abrahams on piano, Lloyd Swanton on bass, and Tony Buck on drums. Composer/pianist/electronic musician Craig Taborn has played and recorded with a pantheon of creative music luminaries including Steve Coleman, Bill Frisell, and Dave Douglas. At the ICA, his new Ancients and Moderns ensemble- featuring Dan Weiss (drums), Thomas Morgan (bass), Chris Speed (tenor saxophone, clarinet),  Ben Gerstein (trombone), and Taborn (piano and circuit bent electronics)-will explore extended compositions for live improvisers and circuit bent instruments and devices.

Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips: 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
Saturday, March 21, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Co-presented with World Music/CRASHarts
Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot his "Screen Tests" - beautiful, revealing portraits of
hundreds of individuals, all visitors to The Factory. From the famous to the anonymous, most
subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his 16mm
camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. The result is a fascinating collection of
four-minute, slow-motion masterpieces that startle and entrance.

Jointly commissioned by The Andy Warhol Museum and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, The 13
Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
, is a performance that utilizes the
Museum's film collection. Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips use the "dream pop" sensibility of
their former indie-pop band, Luna. Known for its entrancingly melodic guitar hooks, and clever
and wistful lyrics, as well as the often referenced Velvet Underground influence in their music,
Luna also reflected Dean and Britta's keen interest in 60's Italian and French New Wave cinema.
Step back-and forward-in time, and rediscover Warhol's masterworks in this performance
featuring large scale video projection above the musicians performing on stage.
Tickets: $25

The Books
Friday, April 10, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Co-presented with World Music/CRASHarts
Comprised of American guitarist Nick Zammuto and Dutch cellist Paul de Jong, The Books create
an emotionally resonant mix of electronica, folk and minimalist classical music accompanied by
projected videos. Their songs incorporate samples of found sounds, speech and field recordings
to both humorous and poignant effect.
Tickets: $25

HarborWalk Sounds, Inside
Berklee College of Music at the ICA
Fridays, 5 - 7 pm, in the State Street Corporation Lobby
The ICA and Berklee expand a very successful summer music series, moving it indoors for the
season. Some of Berklee's best student bands perform in the ICA lobby, representing a wide
range of musical styles. The Water Café by Wolfgang Puck serves refreshments.

January 9: Amy & the Electric
Amy Crawford and her band bring their melodic piano and cool vocals that evoke Peggy Lee,
Sheryl Crow and Norah Jones.

February 13: The Polaroid Truth
Jeni Magana and Jeff Fettig's acoustic folk-rock duo The Polaroid Truth has been compared to
Damien Rice and Brett Dennen.

March 6: Manami Morita and Randy Runyon
Piano and guitar duo.

April 10: Katie Thiroux
Jazz bassist/vocalist Katie Thiroux performs with a trio.

May 22: Neara Russell
Classical/rock composer/pianist Neara Russell brings her band, Neara & Co., to the ICA


Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 26 - 28, 7:30 pm, Sunday, March 1, 2 pm
Words by Spalding Gray; Concept by Kathleen Russo; Directed by Lucy Sexton
Performed by a five-person ensemble with a celebrity guest reader each evening

Spalding Gray, one of the most revered and irreverent storytellers of our time, was celebrated for his autobiographical monologues, filled with observations, neuroses, fears and joys that resonate deeply with audiences. Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell brings together excerpts from both renowned and never-before-seen work to span the artist's extraordinary life and career. The five-person cast (with a guest reader each evening ) brings an intense focus to the words, exploring his singular, and often incredibly humorous, quest for self-understanding. Guest readers include author Claire Messud and former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci. Two additional guest readers, as well as reader schedule, to be announced. Tickets: $20 reserved seating; $15 members, students, and seniors

Nature Theater of Oklahoma: Poetics: a Ballet Brut (Boston debut!)
Friday and Saturday March 13 and 14, 8 p.m., Sunday March 15, 2 and 7 p.m.

New York's "most buzzed-about new troupe" (The New York Times) brings their joyful DIY theater aesthetic to Boston for the first time. Poetics: A Ballet Brut, an awesome and awkward tour de force, takes everyday gestures and weaves them together over the course of 65 minutes into an epic theatrical tapestry. Combinations of ordinary movements-clasping hands behind one's head, tossing in one's sleep-grow increasingly more elaborate, building to a surprising and delightful conclusion. Tickets: $25 reserved seating; $20 members, students, and seniors


Friday and Saturday April 24 and 25, 8 p.m.
Choreography by Heidi Latsky. An Alliger Arts Production

Heidi Latsky, a moving force in the dance world and a longtime principal member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, presents a roster of performers who embody unique physical virtuosity. GIMP is a full evening of interconnected new works inspired by the expressive physicality of both disabled and able-bodied dancers. The performers examine the ways we are identified or defined by our physicality while accentuating uncommon beauty, mystery, and grace. GIMP is presented in cooperation with VSA Arts of Massachusetts.  Tickets: $25 reserved seating; $20 members, students, and seniors

World Music/CRASH Arts Dance Presentations

Keigwin + Company: Elements (Boston premiere)
Friday, Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m. (post performance Q&A), Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m.

Keigwin + Company creates provocative, witty, and engaging dances. Dancer, choreographer, director, and Bessie Award-winner Larry Keigwin and his company explore contemporary life and pop culture with works that are accessible and entertaining, while remaining innovative and intelligent. Keigwin's craftsmanship, versatility, and humor are fully revealed in Elements, a new work with four suites inspired by earth, fire, air, and water. (Free talk with dance critic Debra Cash 45 min. prior to each show.) Tickets: $35 reserved seating; $31.50 ICA members

Zoe Schofield and Juniper Shuey: the devil you know is better than the devil you don't (Boston premiere)
Friday, Feb. 20, (post performance Q&A), Saturday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m.

Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey construct three-dimensional art that melds precise dance performance with evocative video and photographic techniques, juxtaposing restrained wildness and delicate fury. This dreamlike dance piece creates a world of strange beauty with seductive visual imagery and a haunting score by Morgan Henderson. The cumulative effect is romantic, dark, and highly memorable. (Free talk with dance critic Debra Cash 45 min. prior to each show.) Tickets: $35 reserved seating; $31.50 ICA members

Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation and MetLife Foundation.

Chunky Move: I Want to Dance Better at Parties (Boston Debut)
Friday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. (post performance Q&A), Saturday, March 28, 8 p.m., Sunday, March 29, 3 p.m.

Australia's award-winning Chunky Move is known for its distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. Inspired by real life stories, this touching and funny work uses documentary film and dance to capture both the joy of dance and the fear of ridicule in this brilliant, impressionistic, witty, and insightful dance work. (Free talk with dance critic Debra Cash 45 min. prior to each show.) Tickets: $35 reserved seating; $31.50 ICA members

Funded in part by the Expeditions program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the American Masterpieces initiative, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies.

Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal (bjm_danse): Jack in a Box, choreographed by Aszure Barton and Rossini Cards choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti (Boston premieres)
Thursday April 16, 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday April 17-18, 8 p.m., Sunday April 19, 3 p.m.

Part ballet, part modern, part street dance, les Ballets Jazz de Montréal defies categorization with its delicious blend of hip, funky moves infused with infectious energy, humor and imagination. The company, now known as [bjm_danse], continues to evolve with all of the vitality and spirit of exploration for which it has been known since its inception in 1972. (Free talk with dance critic Debra Cash 45 min. prior to each show.) Tickets: $35 reserved seating; $31.50 ICA members

Prometheus Dance
Friday, May 15, 7:30 pm (post-performance Q & A), Saturday, May 16, 8 pm

Known for its highly-charged and theatrical choreographic style, Prometheus Dance has become one of Massachusetts's most outstanding and enduring modern dance companies, named "One of the Year's Ten Best in Dance" by the The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and The Boston Phoenix several times over. Led by artistic directors Diane Arvanites-Noya and Tommy Neblett, the ensemble will perform world premiere and repertory works. (Free talk with dance critic Debra Cash 45 min. prior to each show.) Tickets: $35 reserved seating; $31.50 ICA members


Shepard Fairey: OBEY
Friday, Feb. 6, 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Experiment, an irresistible mix of art, drinks, beats and eats, is back. Andre the Giant may have a posse, but we've got Shepard Fairey on the turntable. Head to the galleries to experience the influence and breadth of Fairey's practice, then hit the dance floor as the artist himself DJs for the next installment of our wildly popular Experiment.
Tickets: $25 general admission; $20 members, students, and seniors. Must be 21 years of age.

Friday, April 3
Save the date for more art, drinks, beats and eats.  Details about the next EXPERIMENT available in the coming weeks.


The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins by Pietra Brettkelly (Boston premiere)
Saturday and Sunday Jan. 10 and 11, 1:30 p.m.

Brettkelly's documentary follows artist Vanessa Beecroft's quest to adopt orphaned twins from the Sudan. Take a brutally honest look at her creative process, her struggle with depression, her volatile relationship with her husband, and her love for the twins. Tickets: $9 general admission; $7 members, students, and seniors

Ottawa International Animation Festival (Boston premiere)
Saturday and Sunday Jan. 10 and 11, 4 p.m.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), the largest event of its kind in North America, attracts animators and attendees from around the world.  See a selection of the best films from OIAF 2008. Boston film buffs, art lovers and cartoon fans won't want to miss this great lineup. Saturday's screening starts with an introduction and Q&A with Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director. Tickets: $10 general admission, $8 members and seniors.

2008 Academy Award Nominated Short Films
Feb/March dates and times to be announced. Visit for details.

The National Center for Jewish Film's 12th Annual Film Festival
ICA/Boston presents two Boston premieres as part of JEWISHFILM.2009

Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
The Jester (Der Purimspiler) by Joseph Green and Jan Nowina-Przybylski (90 mins. b&w/sepia tone/blue tone, Poland, 1937, 35 mm, in Yiddish with new English subtitle, restoration by The National Center for Jewish Film) Negotiating the romantic rapids are a lonely jester, a circus performer, and Esther, the shoemaker's daughter. NCJF's restoration includes new English subtitles, and six blue and sepia color-toned scenes-extremely rare for sound film.

For upcoming information about an additional screening on April 4, log onto or  Tickets: $10 general admission; $8 members, students, and seniors

The Independent Film Festival of Boston

The Independent Film Festival Boston, New England's largest film festival, celebrates its seventh anniversary April 22 - 28. Assembling the best films from both veteran and up-and-coming local and international filmmakers, the festival screens an amazing array of films, throws nightly parties, and holds daily panel discussions. For upcoming ICA screenings of festival films and ticket information, log onto or

New England Animators (World Premiere)
Sunday, May 2, 3 p.m. and Thursday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.

In addition to creating visually stunning films, New England experimental animators use music, effects, dialogue, and new techniques to accomplish a unique fusion of form and sound. Featured filmmakers include Julie Zammarchi, Lorelei Pepi, Norah Solorzano, Steven Subotnick, Daniel Sousa, Joel Frenzer, David Ehrilch, Steven Gentile, Chip Moore, Gina Kamentsky, Agnieszka Woznicka and Karen Aqua. There will be Q & A with the filmmakers.
Tickets: $10 general admission; $8 members, students, and seniors.


Closer in the Café: Lawrence Weschler
Wednesday, January 28, 6:30 PM
Grab a friend, have a drink or a bite, and listen to Lawrence Weschler, author of the hugely
popular and award-winning Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences (2006) and writer for
the New Yorker, talk about his new books with Robert Birnbaum, writer and editor-at-large for Compiled from 30 years of separate conversations with artists Robert
Irwin and David Hockney, the books present diametrically opposite accounts of the history of
modern art and the significance of the artists' work within that context. Weschler will sign books
immediately after the talk. Tickets: $8 general admission; $5 ICA members, students and seniors

Shepard Fairey
Thursday, Feb. 5, 6:30 p.m.
From his days as a defiant, skateboard-obsessed art student pasting homemade stickers to his recent emergence as one of the most influential street artists of our time, Shepard Fairey has developed a multi-faceted artistic practice over twenty years. As the ICA opens the artist's first museum survey, Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand, the artist shares insights into his work, which shifts easily between the realms of fine, commercial, and political art. Tickets: $20 general admission; $15 members, students and seniors.
This program is made possible through the generosity of Vivien and Alan Hassenfeld.

ICA/AIGA Design Series: Design as Social Agent
Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Bringing together speakers from the fields of design, street art, music and politics, this daylong event frames Shepard Fairey's work within the context of grassroots civic action, punk rock and 80's graffiti and skate culture. How can we view his art and design in today's environment of fervent consumption, heightened consumerism and political cynicism? A series of presentations, conversations and gallery talks will explore how concepts of appropriation, plagiarism, legality and process have been exploded.  Speakers include Steve Heller, Nicholas Blechman, Luba Lukova, Mirko Ilic, Elliot Earls, Caleb Neelon, PIXNIT, Cliff Stolze, Pete Favatt. Visit for upcoming details.

Bike Tour: Shepard Fairey Off Site
Sunday, May 17, 10 am
Sunday, June 28, 10 am
Join the ICA for a bike tour of Fairey's public work in Boston and Cambridge. Stopping at six places along the way, exhibition curator Pedro Alonzo will talk about the context, content, and culture of the artist's work and the relationships between graffiti, public art, graphic design, and advertising. The tour will cover approximately 10 miles, arriving back at the ICA in time to hit the Water Café for lunch. Tickets: $20 general admission; $15 ICA members, students, and seniors

Space is limited. The tour will last approximately 2 hours, traveling on Boston and Cambridge streets with moderate to heavy traffic. This route is appropriate for intermediate cyclists and above, already familiar with city biking. All participants MUST bring a safe, working bicycle, a well-fitted helmet, and water. Maps will be available to participants, with clear directions to each site. The tour will run in light rain, but not in more severe weather conditions.  In case of severe weather, call 617-478-3100 on the day of the event for cancellations.  Lunch is not included with the price of the tour.  All participants will be required to sign a waiver.

Words from the Walk
Meet the poets from the Words from the Walk series, the ICA's partnership with UMass Boston designed to present creative writing that inspires, challenges or engages with the idea of "the present moment and place."

Marylin Chin
Thursday February 26, 6:30 p.m.

Chin's poem Lantau (2007), currently installed on the Hassenfeld Harborway, will be featured in this reading. Chin is the author of Dwarf Bamboo and The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty, and Rhapsody in Plain Yellow. She was featured in Bill Moyers's PBS series, The Language of Life, and in a variety of anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon, Chin teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University and is currently writing a book of poetic tales.

Kevin Young
Thursday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.

Young's poem New England Ode will be installed April 1. Young is the author of six books of poetry, most recently For the Confederate Dead, winner of the Quill Award in Poetry and the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement. His poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Callaloo, and many other journals. Young is currently Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University. Admission is free. Space is limited.

Lunchtime Gallery Talks
Take a break to nourish your body and your mind. ICA curators share their perspectives on working with today's artists in a program tailor-made for your lunch hour. Our speakers will provide food for thought; the Water Café will take care of the rest. Schedule of speakers is subject to change. Please check our web site for the most up-to-date information. All talks begin at noon.

Thursday, Jan. 22
Randi Hopkins, Curatorial Associate
The 2008 James and Audrey Foster Prize                                                      
Thursday, Feb.12
Pedro Alonzo, Exhibition Curator
Shepard Fairey: Supply & Demand                                                

Thursday, March 19
Eileen Quinlan and Jen Mergel, Associate Curator
Momentum 13: Eileen Quinlan                              

Thursday, April 2
Jen Mergel, Associate Curator
Acting Out: New Social Experiments in Video

Thursday, May 28
Nicholas Baume, Chief Curator
ICA Collection 

Free with museum admission. Space is limited. Free tickets are available first-come, first-served one hour before the program. Ticket holders receive a 10% discount at the Water Café. May not be combined with any other offer.

About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for 70 years. Like its iconic building on Boston's waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas.  The ICA, located at 100 Northern Avenue, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 am - 5 pm; Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 9 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm.  Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, and free for members and children 17 and under. Free admission on Target Free Thursday Nights, 5 - 9 pm. For more information, call (617) 478-3100 or visit


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