This week, WGBH News Arts Editor Jared Bowen takes us through a new exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, reviews a gender-bent “Cloud 9” at Central Square Theatre, and gives us his take on the new film “Yesterday.”
“Less is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design,” on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston through Sept. 26
When it comes to art, why settle for less? At the Institute of Contemporary Art, “Less is a Bore: Maximalist Art and Design” traces a history of pattern and decoration arts from the 1970s through today. More a philosophy than a movement, maximalism as seen here incorporates elements of craft, painting and decorative arts to create works that upend notions of gender, multiculturalism and beauty in the Western art tradition.
“They found themselves, like artists of many generations have, wanting to do something that others had called dead,” said curator Jenelle Porter.
“They still wanted to paint and felt they had things to paint. So they started to look to other cultures to do so,” Porter said of works inspired by Islamic, Mexican and Japanese art. The exhibition features more than 60 works by more than 40 artists and features a site-specific, room sized installation by Virgil Marti.
“Delicious and dizzying,” says Jared, "'Less is a Bore' is deliriously enjoyable."
“Cloud 9,” presented by the Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theatre through June 30
Central Square Theatre brings playwright Caryl Churchill’s provocative and unconventional brand of theater to Cambridge with “Cloud 9,” produced by the Nora Theatre Company. The play opens with a Victorian English family living in 1880s colonial Africa. But act II catapults the audience and the characters into 1970s London, entering the conservative Thatcher era. Time-travel, gender swapping, and role reversal are all on the table in this absurdly humorous yet thoughtful dissection of racial and gendered power dynamics through the last century.
“Clever and challenging, provocative and hilarious, Cloud 9 lifts us intellectually and emotionally,” says Jared.
“Yesterday,” in theaters June 28
What would you do if you were the only one who remembered the music of The Beatles? That’s the dilemma facing Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) in “Yesterday,” a new film directed by Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire," "Trainspotting"). Jack is a Beatles fan and struggling songwriter in his own right. But after a freak accident, he wakes up to find that no one remembers his favorite band. In fact, no record of them even exists! Working from memory, Jack shoots to stardom with an arsenal of rock songs that he didn’t write. Whether he can keep it all together is another matter entirely.
“Fabulous concept, mediocre execution” says Jared.