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MOCA Turns Lower Grand Into Something Useful

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, May 21, 2006, at 10:35PM

I was walking around Friday afternoon showing a few people around Downtown and saw black coverings set up on Grand Ave blacking out the lightwells to Lower Grand below. I initially thought car commercial -- they're shooting down there pretty much constantly -- but when I saw the red carpet it clicked that it was a MOCA party. The Times Calendar section has the recap.

All joking aside, it was a truly awing sight, a fitting tribute to Rauschenberg's own proleptic vision. The pavement of lower Grand Street had been covered with carpeting and 50 tables. Huge swaths of diaphanous black cloth seemed to hang in the air. Projectors beamed oversized images of Rauschenberg and his work onto the tunnel walls. "Matrix-esque" may be the only word to describe the scene.

Jane Nathanson, the gala's chairwoman, mounted the dais first, her face magnified and multiplied on the walls -- "It's my sons' worst nightmare!" she said, as her sons, sitting nearby, nodded in agreement -- and, after paying respects to Rauschenberg, sent everybody back to their mesculin salads with the promise, "Now we're going to feed your stomachs!"

I can't say I follow all the art references, but seeing Lower Grand decked out would have been cool.

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