Oh, Canada art piece

On Friday morning I woke up early in order to head up to Massachusetts for the day with my boyfriend Oliver. Both of us have Friday days off from work and always take advantage of this time by going on mini-adventures together. This week we decided to go to Massachusetts so that we could tour around the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, or Mass MoCA. I had only been there once before (my Freshman year of College with RPI architecture students) and I was anxious to go back a second time since I liked it so much. Oliver had never been before so I was also excited to be able to show him around.

The ride there was…interesting. I plugged the address into my iPhone’s GPS and it took us on an incredibly round-about way through New York, Vermont, and, finally, Massachusetts. It took us all along the back roads, through winding woods, and dilapidated shanty towns. Just as we were both becoming nervous that the GPS was leading us to our doom, we entered the town of North Adams and the museum came into sight. Now this place doesn’t exactly look like a museum, that is to say it looks more like a rundown parts factory, but that’s part of the beauty of it. We entered the museum and purchased our tickets (only $10 for students!) before entering.

Spider Woman from the Oh, Canada Exhibit

The current exhibits were very unique and we both enjoyed them greatly. My favorite exhibit was done by a Chinese artist named Xu Bing who created an exhibit called Phoenix. He created two enormous Phoenix’s out of materials found at construction sites in China. It was incredible to be able to walk under these beautiful creatures, to be able to look up and see what parts had been used to create something so unique. I think that my least favorite exhibit had to be upon entering a dark space made even darker by a velvet curtain hanging over the doorway. Oliver and I thought we had seen everything there was in the room, but as I was turning back to the doorway I happened to notice a girl sitting in the corner tapping one of her feet. I was instantly alarmed. Why would someone be sitting in a dark corner in this dark room all alone? It just didn’t make sense and it creeped me out. Without another word I headed out of the room in order to look at the informational plaque outside. “Girl Sitting in the Corner”. That was all I needed to read. I headed back inside and pointed her out to Oliver. As we moved closer we realized that “she” wasn’t real at all, in fact she was just a projection onto a slab of what appeared to be concreate. Very, very creepy. I left with a dark, twisted feeling in the pit of my stomach, like I’d just seen a ghost.

Xu Bing’s Phoenix

We stayed at the museum for 2 hours or so and eventually left to go eat lunch in North Adams. We ate at a little local café called the Brewhaha and enjoyed soft jazz as we devoured our grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. The food was delicious and we left very satisfied. On our way back into Albany the GPS decided to take us on a more normal route and we got to enjoy gorgeous views of the mountains as we wound our way down into New York. It was one of my favorite adventures that we’ve taken so far and I’m looking forward to what this Friday may hold!

Café Brewhaha!