February 28, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Empire Tweets Back

Andy Warhol. Empire. 1964. 16mm film transferred to video (black and white, silent), 8 hours 5 min. at 16 frames per second. Original film elements preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © 2011 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

As far as films go, it’s one of those that everyone talks about, but few get around to actually seeing. I’m talking about Andy Warhol’s Empire, his infamous 1964 film that consists of a single, stationary eight-hour view of the Empire State Building at night. Better yet: the film was shot at 24 frames per second and is projected at 16—which means that this epically-long stationary shot of the Empire State is actually seen in slow motion. Though heralded conceptually, it has been repeatedly described as unwatchable. Which is exactly why I wanted to see it. All eight hours of it. Read more

February 25, 2011  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: Ready for the Show?!?

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

The works have been selected. Handlers contracted. Opening parties and after-parties and after-after-parties arranged. It’s almost time for the cultural glitterati to come together and salute each other’s art (and, just as important, artful outfits). Yes, the Armory Show is nearly upon us!

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February 24, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Riding the Trans-Europe Express

Kraftwerk. Trans-Europe Express. 1977. Kling Klang Records

Kraftwerk. Trans-Europe Express (American version). 1977. Kling Klang Records

An American friend recently introduced me to Sprockets, a fictional West German TV show created by actor and comedian Mike Myers. Myers, wearing round wire-rimmed glasses and a tight black outfit, plays Dieter, the finicky show host. Each show consists of Dieter interviewing different hosts and ends with a session of frantic robotic techno-dancing, an obvious allusion to the German band Kraftwerk, whose track “Electric Café” is the Sprockets theme music. Only when my friend told me how incredibly foreign this particular niche in German culture of the 1970s and 1980s was for him did I realize how very familiar it is to me, as well as to many other Germans. Read more

February 22, 2011  |  An Auteurist History of Film
George Cukor’s Holiday
Holiday. 1938. USA. Directed by George Cukor

Holiday. 1938. USA. Directed by George Cukor

These notes accompany the screenings of George Cukor’s Holiday on February 23, 24, and 25 in Theater 2.

George Cukor (1899–1983) was not the kind of auteur who was stylistically flashy, and his philosophical point of view was not rigidly defined by a dogmatic personality. His talents were more subtle, but, nonetheless, genuine. Cukor’s Holiday was adapted from the Broadway success by Philip Barry, who went on to write The Animal Kingdom and The Philadelphia Story. Read more

February 21, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space, Tech
Today: A Live-Streaming Walkthrough of the Counter Space Exhibition

Nathaniel Longcope and Aidan O’Connor test out the live stream

As video-streaming technology becomes more ubiquitous, we’ve been antsy to try a walkthrough of an exhibition at MoMA. Department of Architecture and Design curator Juliet Kinchin and curatorial assistant Aidan O’Connor have been brave enough to be the first.

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February 18, 2011  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 02/18/2011

How well do you know your MoMA? If you think you can identify the artist and title of each of these works—all currently on view throughout the Museum—please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—in two weeks (on Friday, March 4).


February 17, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
On the Staging of Staging Action

Arnulf Rainer. Untitled. 1969–74. Oil stick on gelatin silver print. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Joachim Aberbach (by exchange). © 2011 Arnulf Rainer

As I’ve assisted Roxana Marcoci and Eva Respini with the exhibition Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960—which opened January 28 in The Robert and Joyce Menschel Gallery on the third floor—I’ve come to recognize the variety of layered themes that are present in the show, despite the fact that the exhibition itself only includes about 50 works (many of which are new acquisitions). Read more

February 16, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Listening to Art

The Residents. Freak Show. 1995

The Residents. Freak Show. 1995. Interactive CD-ROM. The Museum of Modern Art Library. Image courtesy the artists

The idea of looking at music has percolated in my mind for decades. I followed how the violin prodigy Laurie Anderson successfully straddled the worlds of art and music. She cleverly harnessed media to merge visuals with lyrics. Her work unfolded in tandem with technology, as computers and software allowed her to move more fluidly between disciplines. Before long we all stopped seeing a distinction between art and music. Read more

February 15, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Eat, Drink, (Read!) MoMA

Roberto Sambonet (Italian, 1924–1995). Center Line Set of Cookware. 1964. Stainless steel. Manufactured by Sambonet S.p.A., Vercelli, Italy. Gift of the manufacturer, 1972

Several exciting things are happening now in the world of Counter Space—time for an update! Read more

February 15, 2011  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Sergei Eistenstein’s Bezhin Meadow and Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky. 1938. USSR. Written and directed by Sergei Eisenstein

Alexander Nevsky. 1938. USSR. Written and directed by Sergei Eisenstein

These notes accompany the screenings of Sergei Eisenstein’s Bezhin Meadow and Alexander Nevsky on February 16, 17, and 18 in Theater 3.

Sergei Eisenstein was born in 1898 and died, at the age of 50, 63 years ago last week. By the age of 30 he was world-renowned for his theory of montage, as applied to his youthful masterpieces Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October (Ten Days That Shook the World). These films found heroics in collectives (among workers, sailors, or, in the case of his 1929 Old and New, farmers) and in stick-figure commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolutionaries. In 1930, he was invited to come to Hollywood by Paramount Pictures, and during his time there he pursued several aborted projects, including a film version of Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy (which was finally made in 1931 by Josef von Sternberg, vacationing from Marlene Dietrich). To delay returning to Russia, Eisenstein persuaded Upton Sinclair and his wife to finance the intended epic Que Viva Mexico! Read more