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Posts Tagged ‘dewey square’

111315-Lawrence-Weiner-artistLawrence Weiner discusses art in Dewey Square.

The latest Greenway mural in Dewey Square comes courtesy of MIT’s List gallery and is the work of Lawrence Weiner.  I admit to liking it even though it seems to be nothing more than bright orange letters on a blue background, with words saying, “A translation from one language to another.”

I am letting it sink in. Perhaps it’s about the translation from the artist’s idea to a work that others see. Perhaps something is lost in the translation. Perhaps it’s about how differently we understand one another, even without so-called language barriers.

Here’s what the Greenway writes, “Lawrence Weiner is considered a key figure in the Conceptual Art movement, which includes artists like Douglas Huebler, Robert Barry, Joseph Kosuth, and Sol LeWitt.

“A primary motivating factor behind Weiner’s work is the desire to make it accessible, without needing to purchase a ticket or understand a secret visual language. He contended that language reaches a broader audience, and situating language in contexts outside traditional art-viewing settings, such as art museums, furthers that reach.

“Thus, he began creating works consisting of words and sentences or sentence fragments that he displayed in public spaces, books, films, and other accessible media, as opposed to the cultural institutions that might deter broad and diverse viewership. Click here for an interview with Lawrence Weiner.” More at the Greenway site.

Malcolm Gay at the Boston Globe adds, “For Weiner, the work is less about art historical knowledge, outrage, or relating to other people. It’s about a viewer’s individual response to an object in the world — an object that’s been created by another person.

“ ‘Our job is not to throw things at people,’ he said. ‘The work doesn’t exist unless somebody decides to deal with it. You can pass it on your way work, and it’s not going to screw up your day. But if you pay attention to it, it might screw up your life.’ ”

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Let me tell you about these photos.

I first noticed the shoes of the gentleman riding the subway. Then the white suit, the pocket hankerchief, the bow tie, and the hat. I was concentrating so hard on taking a photo surreptitiously that it didn’t occur to me to check out what he was reading. Somerset Maugham? Proust? William Dean Howells?

You never know what photo ops you might see on the MBTA, and I hope to get adept at taking pictures unobtrusively.

Next we have a fanciful teapot in the window of the Lacoste Gallery.

Moving right along: dappled shade on Summer St., Boston, near South Station; and a row boat for rent in Fort Point Channel.

Today’s Dewey Square excitement was a labor rally for striking airport workers demanding a $15/hour minimum wage. Lots of speeches. I photographed a T-shirt and a Boston politician. The politician had such an energetic speaking style, the photo came out blurry, but I’ll add it if you want it.

The last three pictures are of a fake snake — perhaps intended to keep passersby from sitting on a resident’s stonewall — and grapes. The grapes were the most surprising thing that happened to me today. I must have walked past that fence twice a day for years and years, and I never noticed a grape vine growing there. Did someone drape it over the fence while I was at work?

Goes to show you don’t really have to go anywhere much to find surprises.

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The little Vine video is of the fountain that children love in the Greenway. Nearby is the old State House, looking refined in the shadow of tall, impersonal modernities.

I took a photo of the sign explaining some new sculptures. They turn out to be part of the Design Biennial in Boston.

In the Dewey Square section of the Greenway, I also love the farmers market that materializes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Note the sunflowers, flourishing in the Greenway’s demonstration garden. The narrow, decrepit building behind them always intrigues me. What would you do with it if it were yours? It’s a valuable location that no one seems to want. What about a pocket performance space?

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I wrote about New American Public Art back when I first posted a photo of the group’s giant geometric snowballs in Dewey Square.

I looked them up. Their tumblr blog says, “We are a collaborative of artists, engineers, programmers and designers with the mission of developing beautiful, interactive public art. Our method of development is always contextual. The existing physical and social aspects of a space are integral to the installation. The art form we create is more than the physicality of the work, it is the social curiosity and interaction of the audience with the piece.”

Alas, curious snowplows interacted with the interactive snow sculptures, and the snowballs are no more. But the artists seem to be fine with their work being ephemeral. Their approach supports the notion that it is good to notice things that can’t be captured permanently. It’s good just to enjoy. And interact.

I say that, but I’ve been regretting for two weeks that I couldn’t bring myself to capture in a photo several strangers facing me on the subway since one woman was looking my way. It would’ve been a great shot. In the midst of a sea of black-coated commuters, there were three astonishing reds: a woman with a bright red shawl, another with a red-red coat, and a young man with brilliant new red boots.

I’ve been looking for reds ever since and pondering how to take a photo without being noticed.

Check out American Public Art installations here.

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Time to share my travels on foot again.

First up, plain folk waiting for their train. Next the street lamp in Narnia’s endless winter on the other side of the wardrobe.

The bird in the nest was given to me by an expectant mother as a thank you for “helping to feather my baby’s nest.” The baby is now in his late 20s.

I thought the snowy dogwood branches had a hopeful lift to them.

Finally, a team from the company Life is good put a lot of energy into building this giant Adirondack chair beside a beach ball, encouraging photographers to tweet pictures with the hashtag #ligbeachday. I saw a lot of homeward commuters snapping away en route to their trains. Quite a lot of advertising potential in this playful installation in Dewey Square, Boston.

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I blogged about the two previous murals in Dewey Square, here, and now there is a third one. The first two were by artists who had shows at the nearby Institute for Contemporary Arts (the ICA). The new one is by an artist associated with the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA).

According to Geoff Edgers at the Boston GlobeJill Medvedow, ICA director, was not pleased that the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy chose a different museum. “Really?” she said. “It’s walking distance to the ICA.”

WBUR radio’s “The Artery” covers more of the story: “Shinique Smith, the creator of the latest work, recalls seeing pictures on the Internet of that earlier mural by the Brazilian twins Os Gemeos. Standing in the grass below her piece, she told me she thought the wall was amazing, ‘and I wanted to do something like them.’ ” More here.

In case you’re wondering, Smith didn’t stand there painting it all herself like the Os Gemeos twins who did the first mural. Instead she gave a kind of map to skilled painters from a company that does this sort of thing, translating a smaller work into a giant one.

I took four photographs of the progress.

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roof-garden-at-office-buildingHere are some photographs from Greater Boston this spring.

The first three represent the work of an exceptional landscaper in an office building downtown.

I also want to show you that the Barking Crab may be surrounded by construction in the Seaport District but is still open for business. There’s a tall ship in the Harbor. The blue whale in the Greenway carousel is ready to ride, and the Greenway demonstration garden is producing strawberries. The Dewey Square farmers market has plenty of produce and flowers.

I threw in the third-floor balcony at home.

 

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