A-|A+

MoMA

TAG: PERFORMANCE ART

Posts tagged ‘performance art’
Van-der-werve_running_01-150x150
July 24, 2013  |  Artists
Running to Rachmaninoff

When I talk to friends about Dutch artist Guido van der Werve’s work Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia’s National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff (2010), they are usually surprised to hear that the Russian composer and concert pianist is buried in upstate New York. The whereabouts of the remains of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), who has been described as “the last romantic of the 20th century,” are still a little known fact.(1) Yet, van der Werve (b. 1977) has taken it upon himself to spread the word with his annual homage to Rachmaninoff, an endurance performance piece he premiered as part of Greater New York at MoMA PS1 in 2010. On the afternoon of October 9, 2010, the artist embarked on a solitary journey to Rachmaninoff’s grave, traversing a total of 29 miles from Queens, to place a chamomile flower bouquet on the tombstone at Kensico Cemetary, located in Valhalla, New York.

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia's National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. Sixteen 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia’s National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. 16 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia's National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. Sixteen 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia’s National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. 16 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia's National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. Sixteen 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

Guido van der Werve. Nummer dertien, Effugio A: Chamomile, Russia’s National Flower or Running to Rachmaninoff. 2010. 16 35mm color slides, framed text. Gift of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Used by permission

In order to experience the live performance in its entirety, one has to keep up with the artist, who is not only a marathon runner, but a musician as well. Van der Werve is known for challenging the unpredictability of nature in his chronologically numbered video and performance pieces, often exposing himself to danger or undertaking major physical exertions. In 2009, MoMA acquired his sublime, large-scale video projection Nummer acht, everything is going to be alright (2007), currently on view on the Museum’s ground floor. Here, the artist situates himself as the protagonist of the scene and confronts himself with the elements, as he slowly walks ahead of a 3,500-ton icebreaker in the frozen Gulf of Bothnia, off the coast of Finland.

Guido van der Werve. Nummer acht, everything is going to be alright. 2007. 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound). 10:10 min. Fund for the Twenty-First Century. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Courtesy Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam

Guido van der Werve. Nummer acht, everything is going to be alright. 2007. 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound), 10:10 min. Fund for the Twenty-First Century. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2013 Guido van der Werve, Courtesy Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam

Nummer dertien, Effugio A is van der Werve’s first slide show piece, documenting this first performance through which he started to incorporate sports in his art.(2) Part of the work is a framed text that provides background information about the piece. Like many works by the artist, the symbolic performance is built on a complex narrative: chamomile, the national flower of Russia, is one of the most important central European remedies, known to reduce symptoms of hysteria, from which Rachmaninoff suffered. He finished his First Piano Concerto at age 18. Its performance in 1897 was a disaster, causing him a creative crisis and a three year depression. Cured through hypnotherapy, Rachmaninoff completed his Second Piano Concerto, which was a big success, in 1901, and dedicated it to his therapist.

The accompanying text states that exercise promotes cell growth in the brain, which could alleviate depression, known to be a form of cell death. Therefore, intense running would affect the mind in a positive way. Rather than an attempt at a posthumous cure, van der Werve’s annual run to Rachmaninoff’s grave is more of an obscure, humorous, and, at the same time, melancholic journey. A moving tribute to a great musician he will never be able to meet in person, van der Werve’s repeated run to Rachmaninoff is a continually evolving 21st-century memento mori.(3)

(1) The composer left his home country in light of the Russian Revolution, moved to the United States in 1917, and died in Beverly Hills, California. Due to the Second World War, his remains couldn’t be returned to Russia.

(2) Effugio A is one of three elements that compose Nummer dertien, Effugio B is a photographic diptych shot by the artist at the summit of Mount Aconcagua in South America, and Effugio C is a 12-hour film of van der Werve running in circles around his home in rural Finland.

(3) Whoever feels fit for the challenge is welcome to join the artist for his upcoming run, which will start at Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea location on November 24, 2013, and coincide with the launch of a publication featuring the first three runs.

Kaderattia_kasbah_sydneybiennial2010
September 27, 2012  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Performing Histories (1): Kader Attia’s Open Your Eyes

The author exploring Kader Attia’s Kasbah (2009). Installation view at the 2010 Sydney Biennale

Over 120 emerging and established artists from around the globe descended on New South Wales in 2010 for the 17th edition of the Sydney Biennale. The Biennale sprawled across the city, with works installed not only in the iconic Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art, but also across the harbor at the former imperial prison of Cockatoo Island. Read more

Imgp3327-e1301522085876-150x150
April 4, 2011  |  Events & Programs
Educator Journal: Stop or I’ll Shoot! Performance and Photography

Teens displaying their photographic masks in Central Park

Through a series of adventurous performance-based actions, the teens in our “Stop Or I’ll Shoot!” workshops have formed themselves into a functioning arts collective to negotiate and investigate ideas surrounding public and private space, altered perceptions, and challenging interactions. Read more

Booksmell
March 7, 2011  |  Library and Archives, Viewpoints
Smelling the Books

Rachael Morrison. Photograph by Michael Schmelling

Having a job as Senior Library Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art Library has been a big influence on my artistic practice. I use the library for research and inspiration, and as a site of investigation. In early 2010, I began the performance “Smelling the Books“, which consists of me smelling every book in the MoMA Library collection. This performance was recently highlighted in New York Magazine as one of the many reasons to love New York. Read more

Img_5548-e1280242576287-150x150
July 28, 2010  |  Intern Chronicles
The Art of Effecting Change: Travels in Los Angeles, Part II

An automobile planter at the entrance to The Metabolic Studio, in downtown Los Angeles

During my first solo trip to the West Coast, which I wrote about in my first blog post, I continued to cover ground across Los Angeles and visited several of the many city museums. In addition to a walk through the LACMA collection and the Hammer Museum, I also managed to visit MOCA where I met up with Ed Giardina, one of five people in the Los Angeles–based collective Finishing School. Read more

June 7, 2010  |  Intern Chronicles
The Art of Effecting Change: Travels in Los Angeles, Part I

Located in downtown Los Angeles, this neon sign quotes Manuel Castells, "Another city is Possible." This artwork was created in 2008 by Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio.

Equipped with insider tips and a thorough guidebook, and having arranged several meetings ahead of time, I recently embarked on my first solo trip to the West Coast. As the Kress Fellow in the Education Department at MoMA, I received a travel grant to broaden my knowledge of a specific area of contemporary art. I chose to go to Los Angeles to meet with various artists, collectives, activists, and educators whose practices are guided by socially constructive aims and whose creative projects seek to engage communities in environmental issues. Read more

April 13, 2010  |  Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović: What Is Performance?

This past August, I visited Marina Abramović at her home in upstate New York, where she was running a workshop with the re-performers of the exhibition Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. In a series of five videos that show excerpts of my conversation with the artist, she talks about her work, her exhibition at MoMA, and performance art. As an artist who uses her body as a medium, it is fascinating to hear Abramović’s feelings on fear and limitations. In this video, the artist offers her thoughts on the meaning and definition of performance art.

April 6, 2010  |  Marina Abramović, Publications
Listening to Marina Abramović: Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful

In this clip from the CD (as discussed in a previous post) that accompanies the catalogue of Marina Abramović’s current retrospective, The Artist Is Present, Marina discusses her performance Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (1975) and shares with the reader her thoughts about the work and its creation. This is complemented by a discussion of the performance in one of the essays featured in the catalogue, “The Art of Marina Abramović: Leaving the Balkans, Entering the Other Side,” by art historian and critic Jovana Stokić. Read more

April 5, 2010  |  MoMA PS1
100 Years: A History of Performance Art

Installation view of 100 Years at P.S.1. Photo by Matthew Septimus

Performance art is in the middle of an extraordinary resurgence in popularity right now, with groundbreaking performance exhibitions at several institutions in the New York area, including the recent Tino Sehgal show at the Guggenheim Museum, the current Tania Bruguera exhibition at the Neuberger Museum, and of course, The Museum of Modern Art’s Marina Abramović exhibition, The Artist is Present. Performance programming is on the rise at biennials and art fairs around the world, and departments devoted to performance art—such as those at MoMA, Tate Modern, and Centre Georges Pompidou—are increasingly being incorporated into the contemporary art museum.

There is no better way to understand this remarkable material, and the reasons behind its current boom, than to visit 100 Years (version #2, ps1, nov 2009), an exhibition on view now through the end of April at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens. Read more

April 1, 2010  |  Joan Jonas: Mirage
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