The Weepies, Liz Glynn exhibit headline Mass MoCA's fall season


NORTH ADAMS — After a whirlwind summer that included a massive expansion into Building 6 and a packed slate of performing arts, Director Joseph Thompson described the fall as a time for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to "take a breath."

But at Mass MoCA, such a respite still leaves room for the opening of an enormous new exhibition, four artist residencies, and multiple music performances.

"We've got a great season coming up," Thompson said. "It's going to be interesting, institutionally, as we sort of take a breath after this unbelievably vibrant summer ... I'm really excited about it."

And, of course, the season is anchored by the annual FreshGrass Festival, a weekend chock-full of bluegrass music and headliners like Brandi Carlile, Railroad Earth and The Del McCoury Band.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic, fantastic show," Thompson said.

Following the critical and popular success of Nick Cave's "Until," Boston-born and Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn will open her new exhibition "The Archaeology of Another Possible Future."

The exhibition will explore society's transition from the analog to the digital, from tactile materials to the abstract.

"Glynn is going to take us on a multi-level, multi-sensory, interactive journey that asks what happens to stuff and the people who make stuff in the age of ephemera," said Susan Cross, the museum's curator of visual arts.

The show opens with three caves constructed out of wooden, industrial pallets, "a very recognizable symbol of the global economy," Cross said.

Inside the caves, the artist has built analog, sensory experiences based on touch, scent and sound, including a cage of live butterflies that references the "butterfly effect."

Cross said the exhibition, which opens in Building 5 on October 7 with an 11-month run, is fitting to the museum's industrial past and the region's evolution of labor.

The museum's fall schedule also includes a variety of live events, including a concert by indie folk-pop duo The Weepies on Nov. 4.

On Oct. 28, Mass MoCA will co-present Annie-B Parson's Big Dance Theater with Jacob's Pillow, featuring a new show "17c."

"She's a master at combining both theater and dance, and we're thrilled to have here," said Sue Killam, the museum's managing director of performing arts.

The museum also has a mix of live events planned for its Club B-10 venue, including Sameer Gupta, who combines Indian classical music and American jazz and will perform on September 30.

"This is going to be a really rare moment to hear this master craftsman perform," Killam said.

The Mastheads project, based in Pittsfield, will be bringing their writing workshop huts to the Mass MoCA campus in September and October, allowing anyone who reserves one a small and introspective space to be creative.

"It's a wonderful, quixotic, beautiful project," Thompson said.

Reach staff writer Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376 or @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter


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