Friday, July 20, 2018

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston, one of the city’s major museums, recently expanded beyond its main gallery in the South Boston Seaport District. On July 4, the ICA opened its new building: the Watershed in East Boston. The Watershed is located in a former copper pipe and sheet metal factory, and will exhibit large-scale installations which are too large to be accommodated by the main building. It is a ten-minute ferry ride across the harbor from the ICA’s main building, and is also accessible via the T. The Watershed represents a turning point in Boston’s history as East Boston’s first major arts destination.

The ICA has focused on making the Watershed accessible to the community of East Boston. Admission is free, and transport via the ICA’s ferry is included in the cost of admission to the main building. The texts in the exhibitions are in both English and Spanish in order to accommodate the many Spanish-speaking residents of East Boston.

Currently, video artist Diana Thater’s installation Delphine is the main attraction in the space. Video footage of swimming dolphins and a scuba diver cover all the surfaces that visitors walk through, creating an immersive experience. There is also a sculptural video installation by Thater, A Runaway World, which shines a light on animal species that are contending with the threat of extinction. Thater’s works will be on display until October 8, 2018 at the Watershed.

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Alex Greenberger