The family, including all of my immediate in-laws, spent nearly a week in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts There’s a lot of cultural landmarks there, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, which I’ve been to at least thrice.
This year, my wife and I attended three other museums/galleries. First up, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, generally referred to as MASS MoCA.
One of the first things we saw was Annie Lennox’s ‘Now I Let You Go…’. This link will tell you most of what you need to know. A docent pointed out one thing I DIDN’T notice, that a piano on top of the pile shows up in shadow on a far wall, and it’s quite affecting. The musician had a vision for the piece, and contacted MASS MoCA, according to a radio interview. She writes:
We interact with an infinity of objects from birth to the grave.
Over time our ‘belongings’ become more steeped and resonant with memory and nostalgia.
In many ways, personal objects express aspects of who we are — our identity: our values: our statements and choices.
The passages of time through which we exist become defined by the objects with which we interact.
The artifacts contained within the earthen mound — partially buried — partially excavated — have all played a part in my life.
I have had a special connection to each item presented — a connection that has been hard to relinquish.
In time, we will all disappear from this earth.
This is our destiny.
What will we leave behind? Who will remember us — and for how long?
I heard music in the background that sounded like Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, yet not exactly. It was the song played backward, it turns out.
Coincidentally, two other female musicians also had displays at the museum, but I saw neither. Unfortunately, the paintings of Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders leave at the end of August 2019. The work of Laurie Anderson will be there through 2020, but one has to make an appointment in advance.
Things we did see included Still I Rise (through May 2020), the ceiling lights of Spencer Finch’s Cosmic Latte, and the most impressive Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States, a new wall drawing by Joe Caldwell (the latter two through 2020 at least).
Admission is $20, but you can come back the next day for free. If our schedule had permitted, we would most certainly have done that. Since the last time we went – could it have been in 2007? – it had taken over far more repurposed old factory buildings than the handful where the museum once existed.