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The Medium is the Massage is a new commission by the Cuban American artist Rafael Domenech for a year-long pavilion for self-publishing, collective reading, and programs at the ICA. With a nod to the eponymous book by Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore, this project considers the forms, standards, conventions and errors that are part of exhibition making. Interested in publishing as a methodology for making exhibitions, The Medium is the Massage is a publication that the public can inhabit as a book-in-space. In keeping with the artist’s philosophy on waste, optimization, and challenging mechanisms of value, at the end of the show the public will be invited to take what remains of the show home.


Rafael Domenech (b. 1989, Havana) lives and works in New York. He attended the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, in Cuba, and earned his BFA from the World School of the Arts in Miami in 2015, and his MFA from Columbia University in 2019. In his work he uses databases, poetry, repurposed walls, narrative graffiti performances, light objects, recordings and found texts. He is interested in artist books, the afterlives of material, how we read, how things circulate, and how we produce art and exhibition. His work has been shown with major institutions including The Bass Museum, Miami Beach, Florida; SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York, and Socrates Sculpture Park. His upcoming projects include a new outdoor pavilion commissioned as part of the inaugural projects for the 58th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.

Rafael Domenech: The Medium is the Massage

Sep 9, 2022 – Jun 18, 2023