Dave McKenzie at the ICA, ‘Sculpture Walk’ at Forest Hills, ‘ArtBeast!’ in Somerville, and summer Fridays at the MFA
Dave McKenzie, still from “Present Tense”
Writing in the September 2005 issue of Artforum, Glenn Ligon described Jamaica-born, Brooklyn-based artist Dave McKenzie’s appearance at a 2003 opening at New York’s Sculpture Center: “wearing jeans, sneakers, a red T-shirt, a zip-front jacket, and a large papier-mâché head . . . handing out little white boxes that contain plastic bobbleheads modeled after his own features. A woman approaches him, takes a box, and walks away. A few minutes later, she returns holding bobblehead Dave in her hand. She stares intently into McKenzie’s large painted eyes. ‘I know you are Dave,’ she says, ‘but who is Dave?’ ” This simple question forms the basis for a rich array of performance and video projects by McKenzie, whose playful yet pointed approach to themes including artistic and racial identity, kindness, and metamorphosis are the subject of “MOMENTUM 8: DAVE MCKENZIE,” which opens at the Institute of Contemporary Art on July 25.
McKenzie’s humorous examination of self and society also led him to create a giant Bill Clinton mask and film himself wearing it as he strolled up and down 125th Street in Manhattan — this after a New York Times article encouraged the former president to have a more visible presence around his Harlem office. For “Momentum 8,” McKenzie will debut his new video “Present Tense,” in which both Dave and Andy Warhol dolls play out questions of self-transformation.
The ultimate transformation is the subject of what should be an enlightening tour at Forest Hills Cemetery on July 22, when Cecily Miller, director of the Forest Hills Trust, and Elise Ciregna, the trust’s curator of historic collections, lead a “VICTORIAN AND CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE WALK” through the 250-acre grounds. Highlights include work by 19th-century artist Daniel Chester French and contemporary works by Mitch Ryerson and Danielle Krcmar. Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and water are recommended for this two-hour tour.
|“MOMENTUM 8: DAVE MCKENZIE” at Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | July 25–October 28 | 617.478.3100 | “VICTORIAN AND CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE WALK” at Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave, Jamaica Plain | July 22 at 4 pm | $9 | 617.524.0128 | “ARTBEAST!” at Davis Square, Somerville | July 20-21 | 617.625.6600 x 2985 | “MFASUMMERFRIDAYS” at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston | Fridays in July and August | 617.267.9300|
The theme for Somerville’s ArtBeat extravaganza this year is “ARTBEAST!” The weekend of wild events taking place in Davis Square July 20 and 21 will include music and “beastly” film shorts at Seven Hills Park on July 20 from 6 to 10 pm, and a parade, music, dance, readings, sculpture, and giant inflatable creatures in Davis Square on July 21 from 11 am to 6 pm.
And at the Museum of Fine Arts, summer means “MFASUMMERFRIDAYS,” where over-21s can mingle, with cocktails and music, in the Calderwood Courtyard every Friday evening in July and August. The entire museum is now open until 9:45 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights; upcoming Friday-night musical offerings include DJ Deja (a/k/a Denise LaCarruba) on July 20, and a trio version of the wonderful merengue band Grupo Fantasia on July 27.
On the Web
Institute of Contemporary Art: www.icaboston.org
Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills: www.foresthillstrust.org
Museum of Fine Arts: www.mfa.org
: Museum And Gallery
, Bill Clinton, Visual Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, More