The show continues with surfaces made reflective that force the viewer to observe themselves while they are observing the work. In the first rooms at the ICA , the reflective surfaces develop into mirrored landscapes that oddly do not reflect the viewer, and entreat the viewer to think about his/her place in relation to the art. The intricacy of the creations grow more complex as the show progresses towards McElheny’s materialization of the Big Bang theory, which asks the viewer to ponder his/her place not just in relation to the art, but in relation to the universe.
|Island Universe by Josiah McElheny, on display at the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston.|
Island Universe is the centerpiece of McElheny’s exhibit, featuring mirrored glass chandelier orbs hung from the ceiling. These “island universes” are celestial pieces that act as an homage to the Big Bang theory. Each orb is covered in mirrored-glass rods that end in either a small blown glass ball or a light bulb, creating an effect that mimics stars. The orbs seem to be exploding and expanding outward, a galaxy contained in glass. Viewers are able to move into the space of each chandelier, interacting with the orb as a sculptural element invading his/her space and as a larger, celestial object. The mirrored central orbs of the ‘islands’ reflect the image of the viewer, which allows him/her to reflect not only literally, but provokes the viewer to think of the colossal nature of our universe and its infinite expansion in space and time.
|Summer interns Divya, Maureen, Ellen and Meaghan (from left.)|
Overall, Intern Day was filled with personal reflections and thought-provoking art. Thankfully, the ICA has a waterfront deck for a relaxing lunch! The Co|So interns and staff enjoyed great art, great food, great weather, and even greater people. Thanks for having us ICA, we hope to be back soon!