The Cultural To-Do List: February 2016
Decades have passed since anyone stateside has held a major exhibit of contemporary Australian indigenous art. This month, the Harvard Art Museums will change that with “Everywhen,” a 70-plus-work show curated by Stephen Gilchrist, an art historian from the Yamatji people of western Australia. Named after the indigenous people’s cyclical, circular concept of time, “Everywhen” will be the first introduction for many of us to some of the most cosmic, breathtaking images produced this century. Outside the U.S., these artists have been widely celebrated: Paintings by Rover Thomas and Emily Kame Kngwarreye (pictured) have appeared at the Venice Biennale, while performance artist Christian Thompson was mentored by MoMA icon Marina Abramović. Not only does this promise to be an awe-inspiring show, it will also give viewers a deeper understanding of a culture and a cosmology that long predate our own.
February 5–September 18, Harvard Art Museums, 617-495-9400, harvardartmuseums.org.
Back in 1970, Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal were atop the cinematic box office, playing two Harvard paramours in Love Story. Now the duo is back in Boston, but this time on the stage. Appropriately, they’ll perform A. R. Gurney’s epistolary drama in which two soul mates detail their unfulfilled romance by reading a half century’s worth of letters to each other.
February 2–7, Shubert Theatre, 800-982-2787, citicenter.org.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
This year the Boss is peddling a new box set of old stuff…but what great old stuff it is. His landmark 1980 album, The River, was released last fall as an expanded four-CD package that now includes nearly two dozen outtakes. Though his live show won’t feature “new” songs per se, these rediscovered tunes are among his finest works.
February 4, TD Garden, 800-745-3000, tdgarden.com.
“The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer”
Jason Rohrer is a video-game creator who thinks like an artist. His 2007 8-bit work, “Passage,” in which gamers experience an ordinary life and uneventful death in just five minutes, is now in MoMA’s collection. This Davis Museum exhibit will offer an overview of Rohrer’s previous works, and feature six interactive displays.
February 10–June 26, Davis Museum, Wellesley College, 781-283-2051, wellesley.edu/davismuseum.
Big Brother. Thoughtcrime. Newspeak. These terms from George Orwell’s dystopian novel are now part of the vernacular. In this new stage adaptation, the story is freshened up with a looped narrative that makes the audience question everything.
February 14–March 6, American Repertory Theater, 617-547-8300, americanrepertorytheater.org.
During the February school break, MIT invites kids to participate in workshops led by students and researchers. This year it will teach future urbanologists how to plan and build transportation systems, and offer a cartography gala called Mapapalooza.
MIT Museum, 617-253-5927, web.mit.edu/museum.
February 15–20, “Asia in Amsterdam”
The Peabody Essex Museum and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum are teaming up to show how European arts and culture were transformed when the Dutch East India Company opened up trade in Asia. The exhibit will feature works from more than 60 collections, including many royal treasures.
February 27–June 5, Peabody Essex Museum, 978-745-9500, pem.org.