Engine Trouble

MoA's "Views Inside the Car" never quite gets into gear

Devine's deconstructions are simultaneously whimsical and jarring. They force us to look at things in a different way, which is one of the specialties of contemporary art. Devine has even written a droll manual of sorts for re-creating the car piece that is reprinted at the gallery Web site www.pierogi2000.com.

Among the point-by-point instructions: "Some may want to first mark their intended cuts beforehand and others will start right in, relying on intuition. I prefer the spontaneous approach. Look out for falling or sharp objects" and "Take each individual piece and clean it. This procedure must be done with great care so you will gain a fuller understanding of where the pieces came from and where you will put them upon re-assembly."

Andrea Zittel's A-Z Escape Vehicles (1996) is a provocative look at life on the road
Andrea Zittel's A-Z Escape Vehicles (1996) is a provocative look at life on the road

If only "Surrounding Interiors" included more works as stimulating as Zittel's and Devine's. Instead, the exhibition has a big black hole at its center -- literally. The left and right sections of the show wrap around an empty, darkened gallery, an apt metaphor for the show's squandered potential.

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