BEST MUSEUM Minneapolis 2000 - Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
After viewing a particularly fine year of cutting-edge art, we give a nod to the only museum in town that makes us feel like we're in New York City for an afternoon (and yes, that entails a gaggle of those art snobs who intimidate us). Highlights of the past 12 months, which included a wide variety of visual and multimedia art, were the Bruce Conner retrospective of films, paintings and sculptures; the world premiere of Matthew Barney's new film Cremaster 2; and the exploration of the intersections of life and postmodern culture in Let's Entertain. For those who've never figured out what to make of an abstract object screwed to a wall, the Walker and curator Philip Bither offer an outstanding live-performance program: The last 12 months have featured international wonders such as Japan's eerie and expressive performance artists Dumb Type, topsy-turvy jazz from the Willem Breuker Kollektief, and a visit from the great (and now late) Lester Bowie, joined by dancer Dianne McIntyre. Topping this off is a redoubtable film and video program that brought in German cinema giant Werner Herzog and many of his rarely seen works, a series of bold Brazilian works, and a complete showing of "The Decalogue," Krzysztof Kieslowski's contemplative retelling of the Ten Commandments. The import of the Walker to the cultural scene probably can't be overstated: The absence of this one institution could demote the Cities to fourth-rate status.