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Matt Bua Cribs

  • Education

  • March 26-September 6, 2009
  • Free
  • Kidspace

CRIBS was a three-part installation project organized by Matt Bua celebrating alternative/experimental architecture. CRIBS featured an overloaded crib complete with hanging mobiles, recorded “lullabies,” and the bars that keep the infant safe. Surrounding the crib was an “outro-spective” purging of the artist’s pack-ratted material possessions of random detritus: lost gloves, found paintings, vacation slides, guitars rescued from the streets of New York — all organized into presented collections. The installation included a special project by Jesse Bercowetz, and work by Carrie Dashow, Ward Shelley, Lisa Ludwig, and other previous collaborators.

The second part of the installation, To CRIBBAGE, was a piece of the crib climbing out of the second-story window of the Kidspace gallery. To escape the chaos of the cluttered future that encroached on it, the crib breached the gallery walls, pouring itself down on the museum’s entrance below. This piece of crib could be entered outside the museum to experience the collaborative “building game” Bua called Architectural Cribbage, a game in which he encouraged others to start constructing their own small-scale visionary spaces. In To CRIBBAGE, visitors found a copy of Visionary Drawing Building (2009), a publication organized and produced by Bua and Max Goldfarb with support from The Joan Mitchell Foundation. This expansive collection of drawings — which originated with an invitation to a wide range of participants, including established and emerging artists and architects as well as those presenting ideas for the first time — represented unconstrained ideas about building structures. A website for the project is at drawingbuilding.org. Cribs to Cribbage to b-Home Again was a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Beyond Kidspace at MASS MoCA

The third piece of the installation took place in downtown North Adams at 107 Main Street as part of the annual DownStreet Art festival. Students from the North Berkshire School Union (NBSU) (Savoy, Florida, and Clarksburg, MA) created installations for this space as part of CRIBLIOUSDOME, an off-shoot of CRIBS. Students from the NBSU worked with writer-in-residence Juliane Hiam Scribner on a project for this space called Writing on the Walls, creating poems and stories related to the themes in Bua’s CRIBS. Visitors to Kidspace at MASS MoCA were invited to visit the 107 Main Gallery and add their sculptures to the installation.

In the CRIBS exhibition, visitors were invited to make their own junk-itecture sculptures using found objects. A full schedule of art classes was offered over the summer, relating to the CRIBS exhibit.

Opening Celebration

There was a day-long celebration of the opening of CRIBS and the new Kidspace on March 21, 2009. The family event included art-making activities all day long, as well as refreshments. Matt Bua spoke about his work, and Kidspace also celebrated its Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Schools-funded artist residency program with three special performances. Juliane Hiam, fall 2008 writer-in-residence at Inkberry in North Adams, worked with the third graders of North Adams to create three 5-minute one-act plays relating to Kidspace’s Illuminations exhibit, which was featured in the fall.

Matt Bua of Brooklyn, NY, is an installation artist who has extensive experience establishing artist collaborations. He holds a BFA from East Carolina University and has collaborated with Jesse Bercowetz to create large-scale installation projects for such sites as Governors Island, NYC; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA. Bua’s solo work has been shown at galleries and sculpture parks in New York City and upstate New York. He has experience working with students to develop an installation for the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City.

Photo by Kevin Kennefick

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