This week, Jared Bowen brings us to a large-scale installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Watershed and gives us a first look at “Club Sandwich,” the New Hampshire venue launched by entertainer John Davidson.

Firelei Báez's

new installation at the ICA Watershed opens July 3 and is on view through September 6

Firelei Báez, To breathe full and free: a declaration, a re-visioning, a correction (19°36'16.9"N 72°13'07.0"W, 42° 21'48.762" N 71°1'59.628" W), 2021. Installation view, ICA Watershed, 2021.
Chuck Choi. Courtesy of the artist, James Cohan, and the Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art has commissioned artist Firelei Báez to create a massive new installation at the ICA Watershed, the museum’s cavernous East Boston outpost. Modeled after Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti, the site-specific installation reimagines the historic ruins of the palace as it breaks waves by thrusting up from the ocean floor. Layering historical iconography and the revolutionary history of Boston, Báez creates an environment that encourages patrons to explore archways and barnacle-encrusted walls layered with symbols of Haitian history.

Báez’s wondrous vision stems from a childhood steeped in creativity. “I went to a different school for every year, and that meant that I had space to develop a very rich internal world,” says Báez. “Every new room was a space to create a different environment that brought both comfort and wonder, and that was my doorway into the art world.”

Entertainer John Davidson opens “Club Sandwich”

in Sandwich, New Hampshire on July 2

John Davidson
Singer, songwriter and entertainer John Davidson opens Club Sandwich on July 2
Courtesy of the artist

Whether he’s hosting “Hollywood Squares,” performing in Las Vegas or starring in movies, John Davidson has always been the consummate entertainer. His latest venture in New Hampshire, where he now lives, is no different. “Club Sandwich,” located in the town of Sandwich, will be an intimate concert venue seating about 30 to 40 people. Davidson will perform Friday and Saturday nights and host a variety of entertainers and musical guests on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“I want to make the most of life,” says Davidson, who turns 80 later this year. “I want to chew it up and then just fall over on stage,” he says with a laugh.

Excited to explore ruins at the ICA? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!