ICA/Boston and the ICA Watershed

Tour - register now

Tuesday, April 02, 2019: 1:00pm - 5:00pm - : ICA/Boston and the ICA Watershed

Kris Wilton, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, USA

Please meet at the Hotel Lobby at 12:45pm.  The Bus will leave the Hotel at 1pm.

Visit the ICA/Boston and its new outpost in a renovated former copper pipe facility across Boston Harbor, the ICA Watershed. Tour the exhibitions on view at the ICA, then travel to East Boston to see the Watershed in the off season and hear about the challenges and successes of its inaugural year. Travel to the Watershed will be by van or, weather permitting, by boat.

Located in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston, the ICA Watershed transforms a 15,000-square-foot, formerly condemned space into a new civic and cultural asset that conserves its industrial feel while restoring the building for new use.

The Watershed represents an exciting and creative mode of growth for the museum, making a cross-harbor connection that is central to our vision of art, civic life, and urban vitality. It takes art beyond our walls, building upon a decade-long history of public art projects that bring together landscape, history, and contemporary art. Each summer, the ICA will invite one artist to create a site-specific work or installation. Tour participants will experience the Watershed between installations.

At the ICA, visitors will have an opportunity to explore the iconic architecture of the building, designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro and opened in 2006, as well four exhibitions on view: Huma Bhabha, Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, Entangled in the Everyday, and Nina Chanel Abney.

Since the early 1990s, Huma Bhabha has developed a distinct visual vocabulary that draws upon a wide variety of influences, including horror movies, science fiction, ancient artifacts, religious reliquary, and modernist sculpture. The largest survey of the artist’s work to date, Huma Bhabha encompasses sculpture, drawing, and photography, with a special focus on the human figure.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s beloved The Visitors is a major video installation filmed in 2012 at Rokeby Farm located in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley. The artist and a group of musicians occupy different rooms of the rambling and opulent estate, performing a 64-minute arrangement composed by Kjartansson and Davíð Þór Jónsson. Displayed across nine screens, each video channel features musicians either by themselves or in groups playing instruments separately but simultaneously. Only in the installation of the work does the total musical composition form a whole.

A selection of works from the ICA’s permanent collection, Entangled in the Everyday celebrates artists’ capacity to elicit the wondrous from the mundane. Interest in common materials and quotidian subjects has been a defining theme of artistic practice in the 20th century, inspiring Cubist collage, found sculpture, and the widespread embrace of photography. By observing and being in the world, the artists included here, among them Lynda Benglis, Tara Donovan, Sheila Hicks, Damián Ortega, and Nari Ward, elevate and make significant ordinary textures and experiences, inviting others to partake in the beauty, dignity, and reality of the everyday.

Artist Nina Chanel Abney draws inspiration from the visual culture of public space, such as billboards, posters, and street advertisements; her work arranges cartoons, colorful geometric shapes, and a mix of symbols, language and numerals in chaotic and energetic compositions. At the ICA, she is creating a monumental wall collage using vinyl cut outs that will speak to the tensions of the digital age and the constant stream of true and false information, abuses of power, and questions of identity.


1:00pm – Bus Leaves the Hotel
1:30pm – The group arrives at the ICA and Tour begins
3:30pm – Coffee/Tea
5:00pm – Tour ends and bus leaves for the hotel