Art that crosses the familiar boundaries of recognized genres or media—or that occupies the spaces between them—challenges us to think in new ways. This kind of art can be described as interstitial. The word interstitial (literally, “between spaces”) describes that which is neither inside nor outside—the very threshold where change happens. Interstitial art, then, is art that transcends or collapses categories, redefining visual, musical, conceptual, or performative paradigms. This kind of art is especially provocative because it defies classification. It provides a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration and sometimes even cross-cultural understanding, and it spurs change, not only in the world of art but in broader cultural and social realms.
It is the interstitial that we explore at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago this fall. The in-between nature of the work you will see in many of our exhibitions and programs this season is evident in the pages of this issue of the MCA Chicago magazine.
Martin Creed, who is in residence at the MCA throughout 2012, continues to present innovative artwork in unexpected places throughout the museum—most spectacularly with his stunning installation Work No. 1357, MOTHERS, the second annual MCA Chicago Plaza Project, which blurs the line separating the inside and the outside of the museum. Jimmy Robert creates works that fall somewhere in between collage, sculpture, and performance, gathering them into complex installations that both comprise and inhabit interstitial spaces. Heidi Norton’s work explores the states of plants in the transition between life and death, as well as of artworks themselves. In their work and practice, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec straddle the disciplines of art and design; John Cage, the boundaries of musical composition and of art and performance; William Kentridge, the margins of theater, film, and drawing; Goshka Macuga, the limits of artistic and curatorial practice as well as of art and research; and Akram Zaatari, the forms of history and biography.
At the MCA, we are always striving to uncover the new and the innovative in the interstitial spaces that connect our wide array of offerings. This fall, in addition to presenting exhibitions of the groundbreaking work of these artists, we proudly carry on our pursuit of interdisciplinary performance programs with MCA Stage at the Edlis Neeson Theater. We also continue our art education programs with local schools, bringing the experience of art into the classroom. Please join us this fall in discovering the fresh perspectives these interstices and crossovers offer us.