Vermonter William Forsythe At Boston’s ICA

William Forsythe is one of us. He lives in Vermont. The world is swooning over this internationally renowned choreographer’s exhibition at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art; the museum is urging patrons to purchase timed-entry tickets on weekends and holidays to keep crowds manageable. On a Wednesday afternoon, we were able to walk in. 

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William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects is filled with interactive opportunities, which is another way of saying that you get to play with the art. You’ve got to be youthful, fit, or daring (or think you are) for “The Fact of the Matter,” (photo, top), a  jungle of suspended hoops. Young museum employees hover on the edges, explaining the artist’s suggestion for how to embrace the work. People more agile than I attempted to move their bodies from one end of the gallery to the other without touching the floor. Engaging to watch and to eavesdrop on the various strategies. No one succeeded, though many tried. I’m certain a dancer could make short work of it. 

Safer to move along to “Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, No. 3”, where you can delightfully dodge swinging pendulums. You increase your odds by peeling off that puffer coat and anything else that adds bulk. It could serve as a kinetic sort of meditation. Requires focus, clears the mind.

Pendulums swing randomly, or so it seems. Bobbing and weaving skills are required.

Would you rather a moment of utter repose? Try stillness, with a feather duster. 

See this exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, on view until February 21, 2019. Artist and other talks are scheduled; there’s an upcoming spring performance of Forsythe ‘s works at the Boston Ballet. For more information, go to the ICA website.

Photo, top: William Forsythe, 2009. Installation view, , Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2015. Photo by Dominik Mentzos. © William Forsythe. Courtesy of ICA press release.


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