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Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art, and Director, MoMA PS1.
The exhibition is supported by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley.
Department of Media & Performance Art
Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large
Erica Papernik, Curatorial Assistant
Department of Digital Media
Allegra Burnette, Creative Director
David Hart, Media Producer
Shannon Darrough, Senior Media Developer
Department of Graphic Design
Julia Hoffmann, Creative Director
Sam Sherman, Senior Graphic Design
August Heffner, Design Manager
Department of Education
Colleen Brogan, 12-month intern
Jason Persse, Associate Editor
Tamsin Nutter, Associate Editor
Developed by Stamen
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures focuses on the artist's cinematic portraits and non-narrative, silent, and black-and-white films from the mid-1960s. Warhol's Screen Tests reveal his lifelong fascination with the cult of celebrity, comprising a visual almanac of the 1960s downtown avant-garde scene. Included in the exhibition are such Warhol "Superstars" as Edie Sedgwick, Nico, and Baby Jane Holzer; poet Allen Ginsberg; musician Lou Reed; actor Dennis Hopper; author Susan Sontag; and collector Ethel Scull, among others. Other early films included in the exhibition are Sleep (1963), Eat (1963), and Kiss (1963–64). Twelve Screen Tests in this exhibition are projected on the gallery walls at large scale and within frames, some measuring seven feet high and nearly nine feet wide, while Kiss is shown at the rear of the gallery in a 50-seat movie theater created for the exhibition.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum,
Pittsburgh. It was first conceived at The Museum of Modern Art, by Mary Lea
Bandy, then Chief Curator, Department of Film and Media, and exhibited in 2003
as Andy Warhol: Screen Tests. With the addition of Warhol's silent films, the show debuted as Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2004. Over the past five years Klaus Biesenbach has organized the tour of the exhibition to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Miami, Moscow, and Prague.
In August 1962, Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) began making silkscreen paintings of popular icons, including a series of images of Marilyn Monroe that he began a month after her death. He went on to experiment in portrait making with public photo booth machines, which automatically take four exposures several seconds apart and print them in a strip, like a sequence of film frames.
Combining the seriality of these silkscreen and photo booth portraits with the ephemeral quality of the filmed image, between 1964 and 1966 Warhol shot approximately 500 rolls of film: several-minute silent portraits of acquaintances, friends, and celebrities, including many of the artists musicians, poets, actors, models, playwrights, curators, collectors, critics, and gallerists who composed New York City’s avant-garde scene. Some subjects were invited to the artist’s East 47th Street studio, known as The Factory or The Silver Factory, to sit for their portraits; others were captured spontaneously. At times Warhol left his subjects alone with the camera, creating a heightened sense of vulnerability that is perceptible in the films. His first subjects, seated before a sterile backdrop, were asked not to move or speak (later portraits were shot under more flexible conditions). These films, known as “stillies” around the Factory, were also referred to by Warhol as Living Portrait Boxes, and, later, as Screen Tests.
Warhol shot the portraits at the standard speed for sound film (24 frames per second), but specified that they should be projected at a 16 frames per second, the conventional projection speed for silent films in the early period of cinema. The result is an unusually slow fluidity of pace, a rhythm gently at odds with the large-scale close-ups, which are rendered almost abstract by stark contrasts of light and shadow. The images, still yet moving, play in a continuous loop, bearing a timeless presence.
CREATE YOUR OWN SCREEN TEST
Contribute your own Screen Test to our modern update on Warhol’s process.
Read about the screen tests to learn about how Warhol created these compelling works.
STEP 1: Stage your Film Set
Prepare your camera and/or webcam
Set up a solid white or black background
Darken your filming environment, with the exception of a light source shining directly on you
Sit in a chair facing the camera
STEP 2: Record your Screen Test
Look directly into the camera lens
Remain as motionless as possible
Record for up to 90 seconds – Flickr limits videos to 90 seconds and may cut remaining video
Save your screen test to your computer. Flickr limits file size to 150 Mb.
STEP 3: Upload your Screen Test to Flickr
Sign in to your Flickr account or create a new account
Go to “Upload Photos & Video. For help with uploading, please visit the Flickr Help
When you have finished uploading, set the Screen Test video to “Public”
Tag your video with the keyword “momasc90”
In the Groups tab at the top of Flickr, search for the Group “momascreentests”
In the Group Pool, click “Add Photos”. Select your Screen Test from your Flickr account to add to the Group Pool
Make sure your Flickr account has at least 5 videos or photos in it, or Flickr will not include your screen test in the API and it will not show up on our website. If your account is newly created, Flickr will delay publishing out your video in the API, even if it is approved.
STEP 4: Submit and MoMA Review
Please note that this group is moderated and video that do not relate to the project or that the Museum otherwise deems inappropriate will not be published.
By posting your video in this Flickr group, you are giving The Museum of Modern Art permission to display the video on its website, and to crop and resize them as necessary. All videos will be credited and displayed with a link back to the original video on Flickr when possible.
After your Screen Test is accepted, the video will be displayed on the exhibition website in black and white at a 4:3 size and muted to emulate the style of Warhol’s Screen Tests