North Adams

Cai Guo-Qiang

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)

Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese-born artist with an abiding passion for large, loud explosions. His current exhibition at Mass MoCA is in four parts. Inopportune: Stage One, 2004, consists of nine white Ford Tauruses, installed here in a long room. While the first and last sit on the floor, the others hang from the ceiling, some high enough to walk under. Projecting from their interiors are flashing, internally lit blue, red, green, and orange glass rods, which mimic exploding firecrackers.

A smaller, darkened room contains large screens, visible from both sides, which show a ninety-second video in which footage of another of the artist’s favored Fords is projected onto Times Square traffic. At first this vehicle appears to be just another car driving south, but it soon turns out to be packed with fireworks: Explosions begin, and the car is the scene of a dazzling, deafening pyrotechnic display.

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