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Dispatches

The latest buzz from the bee world; Boston’s Fenway Park hits 100; a London shoe company makes its pointe; art runs amok at an ancient Thai temple; shipping out to sea with Billy Campbell

MONTREAL

SHIP SHAPE
Art fans get their sea legs at a nautically inspired installation

Dean Baldwin steps aboard his 1952 Nordic Folkboat and pulls on a yellow raincoat. Unshaven and sporting black-framed glasses, he surveys his rations: preserves, peanuts, half-empty liquor bottles and other miscellany. He wonders if he has enough to make it through the night. Art lovers, after all, can be a demanding bunch.

Baldwin is the creator of Ship in a Bottle, Barbados Rhum, the latest and sole installation inhabiting the atrium of Montreal’s Musée d’Art Contemporain. The work is a two-story-tall sailboat tipped at a 45-degree angle, with an interior that’s been re-leveled to create usable horizontal surfaces. By day, it serves as a stand-alone sculpture that museumgoers survey from a distance. But on Wednesday nights and the first Friday of each month, Baldwin jumps in, cranks the tunes and begins whipping up cocktails in Mason jars.

During a recent open night, three women peek into the hatch to check out Baldwin’s bartending skills. A couple briefly slow-dances in the atrium’s shadowy corners, sweaty White Russians in hand. Unlike the crowd that was here just hours ago, nobody is worried about touching the art. “You can stick your head inside the boat, you can smell the mustiness of it, you can drink a martini, eat a fish out of a can in the cockpit,” says Baldwin, whose previous works include Bunk Bed City, a summer camp-themed installation that gallery visitors could sleep in. “When you can consume a portion of the work, that sort of takes the pretension down.”

Not surprisingly, when asked about the inspiration for the project, Baldwin is unpretentious. “I don’t know … but I was watching ‘Lost’ at the time,” he says. —CHRISTINA COUCH

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