Boston’s ICA and “Entangled in the Everyday”

Written By Isabelle Davis

Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art has a new exhibit opened to the public, titled “Entangled in the Everyday.” This exhibit is the thirteenth installment of the ICA’s annual collection. Presenting works showcasing artists’ use of everyday materials and how these materials are “entangled” in our everyday, the exhibit shows common materials and quotidian subjects as a defining theme of contemporary art. Showing the transformation of ordinary objects into works of art, “Entangled in the Everyday” features artists like Vik Muniz, Faith Wilding, and Tara Donovan.

Vik Muniz’s work, “Mounds,” transforms mundane materials into nuanced photographed images. In one of his works, Muniz uses materials like Scrabble letters, pencil shavings, orchids, and even fake eyelashes. The diversity, and randomness, of the elements brought together to form mounds is meant to evoke a sense of unfamiliarity when oddly specific, yet everyday items come together.

Faith Wilding_Crocheted Environment
Tara Donovan_Nebulous

Also part of the exhibit is Faith Wilding’s work, “Crocheted Environment.” Nestled into a corner where a viewer can immerse themselves in what seems like a knitted cave, Wilding uses acrylic yarn and sisal rope to comment on feminist art. First presented in 1972 at an abandoned home, Wilding’s work uses the said material because it is associated with what is usually identified as “women’s work.”

Tara Donovan’s work “Nebulous” is on view at the exhibit as well, and utilizes one medium: tape. Most definitely a medium one can find in their everyday life, tape is used because Donovan hopes to successfully comment on mass-produced items and how to transform them into intricate works of art. “Nebulous” is meant to be a scaled-down view of the Milky Way. When describing the work, Donovan states, “Like fog, it becomes soft. It looks like it grew out from the floor.” This work forces one to see the transformation of a simple, mundane material, such as scotch tape, into a complex artwork.

“Entangled in the Everyday” is an exhibit that comments on an artist’s ability to elevate and transform ordinary textures and materials into an experience for the viewer.

Vik Muniz_Mounds 2
Vik Muniz_Mounds 1