March 9, 2018
Museum of Contemporary Art comes up a bit short By Jhenevie Oca, Photo Editor
As I walked up the stairs towards the Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA, right away I noticed how welcoming the building seemed. Even though my hair was ruined and my socks were wet from the rain, I couldn’t fight the excited squeal that bubbled out of me and the grin that graced my lips. I couldn’t wait to get started. After checking in our bags and coats –which was completely free, a bonus in my book – we were suggested by the receptionist to take the elevator and work our way down from the fourth floor. The first exhibit that I saw was called “Endless Summer,” which featured an array of artists’ works, from sculptures to paintings that focused specifically on minimalism. I wasn’t very impressed because of the lack of originality. The exhibit right next to it, however, blew me away. Being the first artist to have his own solo exhibit in the MCA, Paul Heyer had to set the standard,– and he did just that. The first thing I saw when I entered his gallery is this ethereal-looking bed of silver cushions. It looks like something out of a spaceship, and I was more than tempted to plop onto it and roll around. Sadly, a sign stands proudly in front of it telling people to “keep off.” What is it about art museums that make my hands itch to touch everything and anything?
I love Heyer’s work. It’s very magical and surreal. My favorite piece was, “Drinking Water,” which is a vibrant painting of a cowboy with his hands cupping water. The kicker is that he did it on a metallic silk canvas: glitter splayed across the entire canvas in addition to the sheen the metallic silk offered. It was the complete opposite of the stereotypical
cowboy. I loved that I was confused by the contrasting concepts. That’s what makes an artist unique in my book. After viewing the rest of the exhibit, I was blown away by Heyer’s work. Heyer demands imagination and does not fail to provoke people out of uniformity and into a realm of possibilities. The only other exhibit I enjoyed was called, “We Are Here.” While Heyer mainly focuses on what could be, the artists of this exhibit focused on what was. The art is more profound in meaning and focused on human emotion and experience. My favorite piece is a close up photo of a woman’s hands grasping
a microphone. If you look closer, you see Persian poetry inscribed all over it. The artist’s purpose is to create commentary on a forbidden act for women in Iran: solo public singing. Apparently, something as beautiful as creating music is considered “evocative” and “vulgar.” I thought long and hard about my gratitude for the little freedoms that I had no idea I had. After seeing those two exhibits everything else was a bit lackluster. Honestly, the second floor is just plain obnoxious. The way the room is designed seems as if the curators didn’t know where to put things, so they just placed things randomly. I did not care at all for this entire floor. The only other part that I love is the commonplace, which might have been my favorite part of the entire museum. Hundreds of plants hang above from the ceiling with yellow lights circled around it and the warm tones in the room made me feel at ease. Not to mention the interior design is incredible. This was our favorite place to take pictures. The best part were the note pads strewn across the coffee tables. On these notepads are prompts–incredibly hard but important questions that focus on social issues. At the middle of the table was an open plastic
box where people could submit their answers or ruffle through and read other people’s responses.
The concept of this is just spectacular; it forces you to think about things that you try to avoid, which is a reason I love art so much. If you ever visit, I suggest that you take the time to write a response and read others’. I think the benefits are worth it. Overall, I enjoyed my time at the MCA, but by no means was it my favorite art museum. I guess I was just expecting a lot more. I didn’t realize that there were only a few exhibits, so while I did enjoy two of the galleries, I was left with wanting more and thinking, “That’s it?” Regardless, I try to be optimistic and keep in mind that there may have been better exhibits in
the past, and will probably have more to come in the future. But for all my art freaks out there, the MCA wouldn’t be high on my list of favorite art museums in Chicago. The reigning king will always be the Art Expo down in Navy Pier that’s only open for three days, once a year. A major plus about the MCA is that admissions are completely free for veterans, police workers, firefighters and anyone 18 and under. It’s also free every Tuesday for Illinois residents. If I were you, I would only go on a free day. All things considered, I think the MCA is definitely worth a visit. If not for the art, the interior design and the photo ops. I think it’s a great place to go with a group of friends, but if you’re making a trip to Chicago just for this, rethink. You’ll go through the museum fairly quickly, so make the trip worth it, and plan other activities for the day.
Photos by Jhenevie Oca
Exciting upcoming events for the DGS community March 10: Daddy-Daughter Dance
April 6: Cultures in Alliance Talent Show
March 16: Masque and Gavel Talent Show
April 8: Mustang Trot
March 18: Roller Skating for Lungevity
April 13: Philanthropy Assembly
March 22 & 23: One-Act Plays
April 19-22: Musical (All Shook Up)
March 26: Spring Break
April 28: Senior Prom
Published on Mar 9, 2018