Boston

Boston

“WHEN HOME WON’T LET YOU STAY: MIGRATION THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ART”

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
25 Harbor Shore Drive
October 23, 2019–January 26, 2020

Curated by Ruth Erickson and Eva Respini with Ellen Tani

The twenty artists in “When Home Won’t Let You Stay” were selected as speakers for the dead and downtrodden. Americans make for notoriously poor observers of global suffering; this show serves as a corrective. Not all self-consciously didactic exhibitions mounted for their topical value are bad. I favor the oblique work that makes documentary practice look conceptual: Beruit-born Palestinian Mona Hatoum’s suitcases connected with strands of hair (less achingly affecting, perhaps, than the pillow she once stitched with a map of Palestine using hair as thread); Yto Barrada’s elegant photos of people in transit in Tangier; Isaac Julien’s lilting shots of Mediterranean passage. There are more literal takes on the immigration crisis and related atrocities, too, like the sculptures Guillermo Galindo hewed out of border wall, and Irishman Richard Mosse’s sterile videos of frontiers, shot using the military surveillance technology of the enemy. Something for everyone.