A Taste of MOCA

Come along to the most amazing art museum you may ever see. If you think museums are dull and routine, you have a big surprise in store at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in the Berkshire town of North Adams, MA. It’s housed in a huge complex of buildings, the former headquarters of an electric company. (And it’s fun to see how many items of its former industrial decor have been retained and repurposed.)

There are more wonders here than you can dream; sometimes cavernous rooms are filled with a single exhibit, some of which are collections of separate but related artworks. One of the most impressive is Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Mind of the Mound/ Critical Mass, which is modeled after vintage games and toys, and indeed even incorporates a huge collection of genuine old board games. Another exhibit, by pop musician Annie Lennox, features a huge mound of dirt into which she has embedded objects from her past. It’s like an excavated archaeological mound chronicling one person’s life. These artworks appeal to many senses at once — yes, you can even smell some of them, especially the one that incorporates animal dung into its sculpting medium.

Come with us to MASS MoCA, and prepare to be amazed. It really is like drinking a mass mocha.

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