William Forsythe, City of Abstracts, 2000. Installation view, William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian, New York. Photo by Liza Voll. © William Forsythe.
When you enter William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects, you are immediately part of the art on view. With the help of a GoPro camera, computer algorithms, and TV monitors spanning the gallery wall, City of Abstracts depicts bodies in the gallery, with the illusion of physical and time alteration. Every movement captured is fluid, elongated, and elegant in its motions, unlike reality, where one may feel awkward and bumbling. Time itself appears stretched, akin to a sci-fi film.
I hung out with City of Abstracts a bit during the run of the exhibition. At one point, a giggling child wearing a bright-colored outfit wove around myself and a Visitor Assistant in the gallery. The streak of their vivid clothing contrasted beautifully with our mostly black outfits. Swatches of stretched rainbow from my Polaroid logo T-shirt danced with my body.
I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so long and boisterously from an experience in a museum setting. While museums can help facilitate tough conversations surrounding the state of contemporary society, it’s refreshing to deal with the stresses of our current world by laughing at yourself and your body’s capabilities.
Sarah Hachey has been a part of the ICA staff since 2015; in her current role as the Interpretive Media and Adult Education Coordinator, she manages all content and interactive activities in the Poss Family Mediatheque, co-produces digital educational resources such as artist interview videos, and oversees the behind-the-scenes for adult programs. Outside of the ICA, she is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, and also enjoys roller skating.
Friday Art Notes are personal reflections on works of art shown or in the permanent collection of the ICA, written by ICA staff, volunteers, and supporters. Read more