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MoMA

AUTHOR: BARBARA LONDON

Posts by Barbara London
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Lee Quinones: Graffiti and Beyond

The Looking at Music 3.0 exhibition includes Lee Quinones’s 1991 Century of the Wind screenprint from the YOUR HOUSE IS MINE portfolio, which decries New York City’s skyrocketing real estate prices. Considered one of the most influential artists to emerge from the city’s 1970s subway art movement, Quinones continues to produce work ripe with provocative sociopolitical content and intricate composition. Read more

Cey
April 28, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Videos
Cey Adams: An Insider’s Look at Hip-hop Culture

We caught up with Cey Adams, founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings, in MoMA’s Looking at Music 3.0 exhibition gallery, and he talked to us about his work, the emergence of hip-hop, and his unwavering allegiance to the possibilities of culture. Read more

Seth-price
April 13, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Seth Price’s Riff on New Jack Swing

Seth Price. 2002. From Sound Collector Audio Review magazine, issue #3

If Robert Smithson saw the world as a museum, artists of Seth Price’s generation see the “www” as theirs. For them, the gallery can be anything: they project a film and play music in a gallery, so the question of where in that jumble of everything they want to make their work is a difficult one. The Web is both a cabinet of curiosities and a studio where viewers are invited in to see their latest endeavors. Read more

Theresidents_wandatraileroutside
March 25, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Interactivity

Looking at Music 3.0 invites interaction. Visitors select songs to hear (and dance to), videos to watch, and zines to read. Three digital art projects go one step further, allowing user and machine to take an active role. Laurie Anderson, The Residents, and Perry Hoberman harnessed what in the 1990s were the latest digital tools to make truly interactive works. Read more

300339199_outside-150x150
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

April 1, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Joan Jonas: Upon Reflection

Carol Goodden and Gordon Matta-Clark opened Food, on the corner of Prince and Wooster, in the early 1970s. The restaurant, one of the first in Soho, was run by artists and served mostly artists, with the cooking itself becoming a performance of sorts.

The other day I caught up with Joan Jonas at her studio, around the corner from where she first performed MirageAnthology Film Archives’ former Soho location. Forty years ago Soho was inhospitable, even dangerous, with zero amenities. Surrounded by what were then inexpensive, down-and-dirty lofts, Anthology film and video screenings were integral to neighborhood artists’ daily lives. Jonas performed for several nights over a number of weeks in 1976. Her audience included many locals—artist, musician, and dancer friends. They all dined at Food, Gordon Matta-Clark’s wholesome restaurant. Nearby, Richard Foreman presented his Ontologic Hysteric Theater, Jack Smith carried out his midnight events, and Alanna Heiss hosted other happenings on Bleecker Street and at the Clocktower.

Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend had recently launched their Soho galleries at 420 West Broadway, and Jonas later performed at each. Joyce Nereaux directed Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes and Films, and distributed Jonas’s and other visual artists’ media works to museums and art schools. These works leaned towards narrativity. Two blocks away a different media faction congregated at The Kitchen, the alternative space founded by Woody and Steina Vasulka. Artists there knew how to put technical things together. Read more

January 25, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Joan Jonas: Synchronicity of Old and New
Yokohama Tobacco Shop

Tobacco shop in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Azby Brown

At the moment Joan Jonas is on a residency at Kita-Kyushu in western Japan. She has worked in Japan several times since her first visit in 1970, when she bought a portable video camera and began her exploration of media art. The immediacy and reality of video entranced Joan. It was so unlike the stark artificiality of traditional Japanese theater. There, the actors moved at a glacial, mesmerizing pace across a spare stage, and the productions, often stretching over an entire day, made time dissolve. The formality and ritual of Japanese performance became integral to Joan’s work, as can be seen in Mirage, the installation currently on view in the Media Gallery. She wrote that Noh and Kabuki, the two poles-apart forms of traditional Japanese theater, taken together contain every idea that has ever been realized on a stage. Read more

January 11, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
JoanJonas_iterations of a theme
Joan Jonas. Mirage. 1976/2005. Installation with six videos (black and white, sound and silent), props, stages, photographs. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Richard Massey, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman, Agnes Gund, and Committee on Media Funds. Installation view, Yvon Lambert, New York, 2005. © 2009 Joan Jonas. Courtesy Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York. Photo: David Regen.

Joan Jonas. Mirage. 1976/2005. Installation with six videos (black and white, sound and silent), props, stages, photographs. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Richard Massey, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman, Agnes Gund, and Committee on Media Funds. Installation view, Yvon Lambert, New York, 2005. © 2010 Joan Jonas. Courtesy Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York. Photo: David Regen

Joan Jonas works by developing iterations of a theme. I saw the first version of Mirage as a young MoMA curator in 1975. It was performed at the Anthology Film Archives Theater, then in SoHo on a boutique-free Wooster Street. Joan transfixed me, moving slowly about the stage, stomping her feet to the rhythm of a heartbeat. Images from the cameras focused on her were projected onto a large screen and several monitors dotted around the stage. Interacting with her apparitions, Joan transformed the performance into a dense, many-actor theater piece. Then she disappeared behind the projection screen to appear merely as a silhouette. Read more