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Mass MoCA's fall season includes a massive roller coaster-inspired exhibit, concerts, a world-premiere dance and performance art

EJ Hill  Pillar

Artist EJ Hill's "Pillar," which won the Future Generation Art Prize at 57th Venice Biennale. Hill will create his largest work to date at Mass MoCA.

NORTH ADAMS — Mass MoCA's B5 Gallery will be transformed by a sculptural installation inspired by the form and function of roller coasters beginning Oct. 29. 

The exhibition, "Brake Run Helix," by EJ Hill, the artist's first solo museum show and largest exhibition to date, is just one of many new exhibits and performing arts events opening at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art this fall. Performing arts events include concerts by Jack Ferver, Mija, Shamel Pitts, Soccer Mommy, Taylor Mac and J. Hoard. In addition, a curatorial roundtable will focus on the work of Rose B. Simpson. 

Tickets for all events are now on sale at massmoca.org.



"EJ Hill: Brake Run Helix"

When: On view beginning Oct. 29. (Members preview reception, 6 p.m., Oct. 28. Free for members, $20 otherwise)

What: At the heart of "Brake Run Helix" is a rideable sculptural roller coaster. Filling Building 5's 100-yard-long gallery, the exhibit also includes paintings, a stage for performances, and freestanding sculptures inspired by the form and function of roller coasters. Hill’s practice focuses on experiences that intermingle public struggle, endurance, trauma, and joy, whether within athletics, religion, the American education system or amusement parks. In the United States, amusement parks were contested sites throughout Jim Crow-era desegregation efforts for equitable access to pleasure, leisure and recreation. For Hill, roller coasters are public monuments to the possibility of attaining joy — which, as he notes, is “a critical component of social equity.”

"Jason Moran: Black Stars: Writing in the Dark"

When: On view beginning Dec. 17

What: Visual artist, composer, and musician Jason Moran has said of his artworks, “These pieces emerge from my performance practice, my body in relationship to the piano and to bodies in the audience.”

Moran’s exhibition, "Black Stars: Writing in the Dark," on view in MASS MoCA's Robert W. Wilson Building 6  delves into his interest in the embodied experience of live music, and in the residues and memories that music-making leaves behind. The exhibition brings together a group of Moran’s works on paper and two sculptures from his "STAGED" series — one of which has been commissioned by the museum for this exhibition.


Jack Ferver: "Is Global Warming Camp? and other forms of theatrical distance for the end of the world"

When: 8 p.m., Sept. 8 -10 

Where: Stage of "A Memorial to Ice at the Dead Deer Disco"

What: Writer, choreographer, and director Jack Ferver premieres their first full-length work in three years, "Is Global Warming Camp? and other forms of theatrical distance for the end of the world." Inhabiting “the queer” — what they describe as someone who is told by society that their life isn’t natural and doesn’t exist, and therefore is supernatural and has chosen not to exist — Ferver weaponizes this vantage point to view and hold our overwhelming global failures with cold journalism to shaky intimacy.

Tickets: $25

Open Studios at Mass MoCA

When: 5 to 7 p.m., Oct. 6 and Nov. 10 

Where: The Studios at Mass MoCA in Buildings 13 and 34

What: Visit with Assets for Artists’ current artists-in-residence at The Studios at Mass MoCA. Learn more about each artist cohort on the Assets for Artists website, assetsforartists.org.

Admission: Free

"Mija": Screening with Q&A and Performance 

When: 8 p.m., Oct. 8 

What: The documentary, "Mija," chronicles the emotional and complex stories of Doris Anahi Muñoz and Jacks Haupt, the daughters of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, navigating their careers in the music industry. Screening followed by a Q&A and performance with Muñoz.

Tickets: $18, advance and student; $28, day of; $48, preferred seating.


"Touch of RED," from the dance collective TRIBE and artistic director and choreographer Shamel Pitts, makes its world premiere at Mass MoCA on Oct. 21 and 22. 

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE: Touch of RED

When: 8 p.m., Oct. 21 and 22 

Where: Hunter Center

What: Created by the visionary arts collective TRIBE, which is led by artistic director and choreographer Shamel Pitts, "Touch of RED" has its world premiere at Mass MoCA. Reimagining the boxing ring from a space of duels to one of duets, in "Touch of RED" energy builds not out of aggression or combat but through an electrifying effeminacy that heals. Sponsored by the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance and co-presented by Jacob’s Pillow.

Tickets: $20, students; $35, advance; $45, day of; $75, preferred. 

Mass MoCA 2022 Gala 

When: 6 p.m., Oct. 29

Where: Mass MoCA

What: The museum's annual gala moves back to North Adams. An evening of cocktails, dinner and a lively auction in support of the museum’s mission.

Tickets: Available beginning in early September.

Soccer Mommy with Lightning Bug 


Sophie Allison, a.k.a. Soccer Mommy, performs at Mass MoCA, 8 p.m., Nov. 5.

When: 8 p.m., Nov. 5

Where: Hunter Center

What: Sophie Allison, a.k.a. Soccer Mommy, makes pop-inflected indie rock. Her new album, "Sometimes, Forever" is her first produced by Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin. New York indie rock band Lightning Bug warms things up.

Tickets: $27, advance; $37, week of; $57, preferred.

Curatorial Roundtable: Rose B. Simpson in New England

When: 6 p.m., Nov. 9

What: Marking the presentation of Rose B. Simpson's artwork at multiple New England venues, this roundtable brings together curators who have brought the artist's sculpture to the region. Participants will discuss the curatorial decisions, processes and collaborative experiences behind each of Simpson's projections from ideation to execution. Co-hosted by Mass MoCA with The Trustees of Reservations. Rose B. Simpson’s artworks are concurrently on view at Mass MoCA, The Trustees, and ICA Boston.

Participating curators: Susan Cross, senior curator, Mass MoCA; Jeffrey De Blois, assistant curator and publications manager at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Jamilee Lacy, guest curator of art and the landscape, The Trustees of Reservations; and Jami Powell, curator of Indigenous art, Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. Moderated by Monique Tyndall, director of Cultural Affairs, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans.

Tickets: Free for all. RSVPs open Sept. 14.

Taylor Mac in Conversation & Song 

When: 8 p.m., Nov. 19

Where: Hunter Center

What: The inimitable theater artist returns to Mass MoCA for a conversation and preview of his new project, "The Bark of Millions", original music celebrating queer luminaries throughout history.

Tickets: $20, students; $35, advance; $45, day of; $70, preferred.

J. Hoard 

When: 8 p.m., Dec. 3

Where: Club B10

What: Melding the core of the Black church and the allure of Broadway, J. Hoard’s original compositions and arrangements easily shift genres to articulate his vivid songwriting. A recent Grammy recipient from his songwriting contribution on Chance the Rapper’s hit, “No Problem,” see this rising star heat up Club B10.

Tickets: $18, students and advance; $28, day of.

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