Night at the MCA
I had the most wonderful time exploring the Museum of Contemporary Art last weekend. As my friends know, my favorite way to explore the museum is with my headphones in. I love listening to one of my playlists and getting lost in the art and exhibits. It makes a normally quiet, solitary experience more intimate and fun. If you haven't tried this before, I challenge you to put your headphones in and visit a museum this week! The MCA and Art Institute of Chicago are both free on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively to Chicago residents.
My favorite exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art is Backstroke of the West by Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. His work explores recent contested social, political, and cultural histories. Drawing on personal experiences and research on these subjects, as well as history and popular culture, Rakowitz created illustrated objects, installations, and performances that invite viewers to contemplate their complicit relationship to the political world around them, recognizing that hospitality and hostility are interlinked.
The title of the exhibition, Backstroke of the West, is a mistranslation of Revenge of the Sith and speaks to Rakowitz's interest in translation as a means of traversing social and political boundaries as well as how popular culture can be used to access shared cultural narratives. Backstroke of the West is on display until March 4th and I urge you to attend before it's gone!
After my visit, we had the pleasure of dining at the Museum's new restaurant, Marisol. Marisol was absolutely amazing! The food was mouthwatering, and the presentation of each of the dishes left me wanting more and already craving a return visit. Surrounded by an immersive art environment by artist Chris Ofili, diners enjoy table service with a full bar and private dining space, or counter service with communal tables. Marisol is named for Venezuelan-American artist Marisol (1930–2016), a star of the New York art scene and friend of Andy Warhol. Marisol’s iconoclasm and glamour, combined with her international outlook, make her a fitting inspiration for the MCA’s new restaurant. Marisol’s gift of the sculpture Six Women in 1968 started the MCA’s collection. As a nod to the restaurant's namesake, some of the items featured on the menu are inspired by the artist’s favorite dishes.
Have you been to the MCA lately or tried Marisol yet? Let me know in the comments below! To book your visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, visit their website here.