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The Museum of Modern Art
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Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives in a Global Age Initiative (C-MAP) is a global research initiative at MoMA that allows the museum to expand curatorial expertise through the exchange of knowledge and ideas with scholars, artists, cultural historians, and other experts from around the world. The project is intended to enable us to understand more fully the historical imperatives and changing conditions of an increasingly global art world.
C-MAP emerges from a long history of international outreach at MoMA, including the recent projects of the International Program, as well as many curatorial initiatives, whose frequency has accelerated since the Museum’s reopening in 2004. C-MAP continues these efforts by focusing increased attention on art produced outside North America and Western Europe.
C-MAP was launched in 2009 as a cross-departmental research to expand our reading of art history and, consequently, what we do at MoMA. The scope and methodologies of C-MAP research question the judgments that grow out of the assumption that artistic modernism is or was determined only by the Western European and North American narratives of early twentieth-century avant-gardes. The aim of C-MAP is to understand more fully the historical imperatives and changing conditions of transnational networks of artistic practice and to seek verbal and material accounts of histories that often have been little known outside their countries of origin.
Members of C-MAP: Research Groups, C-MAP Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows & C-MAP Counselors
C-MAP’s core working structure is the long-term research group. Currently, there are three research groups focusing on Central and Eastern Europe, Asia (with a particular focus on Japan), and Latin America, regions with strong histories of modernism. The groups are composed of members of MoMA’s curatorial, education, and publications departments as well as the Museum Library and the Archives. They are joined by three international scholars with multiyear fellowships as well as visiting scholars, curators, and artists to create cross-disciplinary investigations. In addition, three distinguished scholars serve as counselors for the initiative: Mieke Bal, Professor of Humanities, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam; Homi Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University; and David Joselit, Carnegie Professor of Art History at Yale University. Group members travel together to deepen their understanding of the specific qualities and histories of the places they are studying. Each trip involves dozens of meetings with artists and specialists, including those who have participated in seminars at MoMA.
The C-MAP subsite, post: notes on modern and contemporary art around the globe [hyperlinked to post], is the public face of C-MAP and provides a space for discussion and debate by users around the globe and allows encounters between the established and experimental, the historical and emerging, the local and global, the scholarly and artistic. An online journal, archive, exhibition space, and open forum that takes advantage of the nonhierarchical nature of the Internet, post seeks to spark in-depth explorations of the ways in which modernism is being redefined. The site's contents are intended to build nuanced understandings of the histories that shape the practices of artists and institutions today. As a networked platform, post aims to provide an alternative to the model of a unified art historical narrative.
Past Visiting Scholars & Group Travel
Finishing its fourth year, since 2010, C-MAP groups has thus far invited 82 visiting scholars including domestic and international visitors from 17 countries, and have taken 6 group trips to Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and East Asia. These research activities have contributed to cross-departmental acquisitions of works by artists from these regions and several exhibitions at MoMA by curators who are members of the C-MAP groups.
For more information about each group and a list of past visiting scholars, please see the individual group tabs above.
For more information on C-MAP Annual Joint Seminars, please see the “Seminar” tab above.
East Asia Group
The East Asia group focuses on Japan, Korea, and China and also looks for potential points of overlap with the other two research groups. Thus far it has focused on various manifestations of performativity in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s, and will continue to expand its temporal scope into the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and its geographical focus to wider East Asia – especially China and South Korea, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Importantly, the group will seek points of overlap and comparison, maintaining a flexible structure to explore connections and divergences within the region.
focus on manifestations of performativity in the context of postwar Japanese art, specifically in the 1950s and 1960s. In order to provide a focus, the group decided to organize its programs and activities around the anchor of the exhibition, Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde (November 18, 2012–February 25, 2013), and the International Program’s sourcebook, From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents (2013). They completed a thorough analysis of MoMA’s current collection, identifying almost 2,000 related objects and artworks across all curatorial departments.
To further the group’s research, in October 2011, the group traveled to Tokyo, Osaka, and Hyogo to view works of Japanese art from the 1950s and 1960s at selected galleries and some of the most important public collections of postwar Japanese art in the world, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (the largest collection of postwar Japanese art in Japan) and the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art.
In addition to research travel, the group has invited visiting scholars to lead workshops sharing cutting-edge research on studies of culture, history, and the arts in the regions of focus. The complete list of past visiting scholars is listed below.
Past Group Trips
- 2011: Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto
- 2013: Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Kyoto
Past Visiting Scholars
- Bill Marotti, Historian, University of California, Los Angeles
- Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Art Dealer and Scholar
- Ei Arakawa, Artist
- Miryam Sas, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film and Media, University of California, Berkeley
- Yayoi Uno-Everett, Associate Professor of Music Theory, Emory University
- Miwako Tezuka, Curator, Director of Japan Society Gallery
- Clifford Owens, Artist
- John Bowles, Scholar
- Mika Yoshitake, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Asian Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- Thomas Looser, Anthropologist, New York University
- Marilyn Ivy, Anthropologist, Columbia University
- Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director, Japan Society
- Eiko Otake, Movement Artist, Choreographer, Eiko & Koma
- Jenn Joy, Rhode Island School of Design, Danspace Project
- Koichi Kawasaki, Curator, Hyogo Museum
- Go Hirasawa, Film Critic, Professor, Meiji-gakuin University, Tokyo
- Kazue Kobata, Curator, Scholar, Professor in the Department of Intermedia Art at Tokyo University of the Arts
- Sen Uesaki, Archivist, Lecturer, Keio University, Tokyo
- Daishiro Mori, Designer
- Hani Susumu, Filmmaker
- Obayashi Nobuhiko, Filmmaker
- Roland Domenig, University of Vienna
- Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum
- Sunjung Kim, Curator, Director, Samuso: Space for Contemporary Art, Seoul
The focus of the group is collection related: in early 2009, the Museum received the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, comprising approximately 8,000 objects in various mediums by Fluxus artists active in the 1960s and 1970s. As the museum began to integrate these works into the collection, the group recognized that this process provided a unique opportunity to broaden the understanding of this material and to contribute meaningfully to scholarship in the field, particularly in areas that often fall beyond the Museum’s immediate reach, such as Central/Eastern Europe and Japan—two places in which Fluxus was well established.
The C-MAP Fluxus group pursues research predominantly relating to artists, events, festivals, and publications from Central to Eastern Europe. In addition, members are actively working to establish contacts with curators, archivists, artists, and scholars in other institutions around the world in order to establish a dialogue about the particularities of this material. With its roots in the Silverman Fluxus Collection, the scope of the group’s research interests extends also beyond Fluxus, into more widely understood experimental artistic practices from Central and Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s.
In October 2010, the group traveled to Central and Eastern Europe, visiting Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Łódź, and Zagreb. The trip was led by Christophe Cherix and included the group members and representatives of the Museum Library and Archives. The goal of the 10-day visit was to expand the group’s understanding of artistic practice as it relates to Fluxus in the 1960s and 1970s. To achieve this goal Cherix and the members met with a number of leading artists, critics, curators, scholars, and archivists in each city. These meetings, which occurred in studios, museums, gallery spaces enabled the group to begin to understand the specificity and complexity of each city and the role of Fluxus in each context, while also giving the members a general overview of the recent culture and art historical narratives of the cities they visited.
Following the trip, the group has received international artists and scholars with expertise on Fluxus, as well as other experimental practices, in these regions in order both to expand the scope of its discussions, and also as an opportunity for documenting the first-hand accounts of artists and other parties directly involved with Fluxus. The complete list of past visiting scholars is listed below.
To further expand their knowledge of the region and learn about experimental art practices of the 1960s and 1970s and the sociohistorical context of its creation, the group returned to Central and Eastern Europe in May 2012 in order to visit Bucharest, Vilnius, Belgrade and Novi Sad, and Berlin. Their visit to the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) in Vilnius to view their Silverman “Fluxus Cabinet” provided a view into how objects, versions of which are in MoMA’s Silverman Fluxus Collection, are presented in a different context.
Past Group Trips
- 2011: Warsaw, Budapest, Zagreb, Vienna
- 2012: Bucharest, Vilnius, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Berlin
- 2013: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Zagreb
Past Visiting Scholars
- Krzysztof Wodiczko, Artist
- Liutauras Psibilskis, Curator
- Piotr Piotrowski, Scholar, Curator
- Dóra Maurer, Artist
- Sanja Iveković, Artist
- Martha Rosler, Artist
- Ivana Bago, Curator
- Antonia Majaca, Curator
- Bojana Pejić, Curator
- Roxana Marcoci, Curator
- Jarosław Suchan, Director, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź
- Branka Stipančić, Curator
- Carmen Popescu, Art Historian
- Daniel Grúň, Scholar
- Biljana Tomic, Art Historian, Theoretician, Curator
- Jesa Denegri, Art Historian, Theoretician, Curator
- Astrit Schimdt-Burkhardt, Art Historian, Freie University, Berlin
- Renata Salecl, Scholar
Latin America Group
Following a period of study of abstraction in Latin America, the group shifted its focus to more specifically engage with the Museum’s collection. Using an interdisciplinary approach to study Brazilian modern art, the group invited visiting scholars to share their knowledge of the nation’s history, music, architecture, and visual art. In parallel to the lectures, the group also conducted a close study of Brazilian artists in the Museum’s collection.
In November 2012, the group traveled to Brazil, visiting São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Rio de Janeiro. The aim of the 10-day visit was to explore in further depth some of the practices the group had been introduced to through the research conducted throughout 2012. The group visited studios and interviewed leading artists, such as Antonio Dias, Cildo Meireles, Anna Bella Geiger, Anna Maria Maiolino, Regina Silveira, Paulo Bruscky, Felipe Ehrenberg, Leda Catunda, Beatriz Milhazes, Rosângela Rennó, and Iran do Espirito Santo. In addition, the members attended exhibitions and met with prominent curators and scholars, visited important architectural sites, and spent time at the São Paulo Biennial.
The group’s next phase will move away from a purely national focus to one centered on artistic practices, strategies, and networks. In the context of the Museum’s recent acquisitions of European Conceptual art, the group will explore experimental practices across the region. The group will approach its research by looking in detail at selected local contexts or hubs of activity, while also pursuing connections and collaborations across borders. This is a rich areas of investigation and research and will help fill gaps in MoMA’s collection, including those of the Museum Library and Archives.
Past Group Trips
- 2012: Rio de Janiero, São Paulo, Inhotim
Past Visiting Scholars
- Gabriel Perez-Barriero, Scholar
- Yve-Alain Bois, Scholar
- Andre Lepecki, Writer, Curator, Associate Professor at Department of Performance Studies, New York University
- Mark Franko, Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Dance, Temple University
- James Green, Professor of History and Brazilian Studies, Brown University
- Zeuler Lima, Professor of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis
- Adele Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Temple University International
- Jorge Francisco Liernur, Architectural Historian
- Carlos Eduardo Comas, Architectural Historian
- Gloria Ferreira, Professor, Escola de Belas Artes da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janiero
- Tadeau Chiarelli, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo
- Caetano Veloso, Musician
- Augusto de Campos, Poet
The C-MAP Research Groups host an annual two-day seminar, which enables the members to think more deeply about collecting in a global context today. The seminar focuses on issues such as MoMA’s current and future holdings as well as discussions on topics such as modernism in Africa, contemporary art in the Middle East and North Africa, and curatorial projects related to contemporary Colombian and Emirati art.
Multiple Modernities through the Lens of International Cubism
The first C-MAP Seminar, Multiple Modernities through the Lens of International Cubism, raised awareness of such theoretical issues as the notion of belatedness in relation to multiple temporalities of modernism, various resonances of Cubism in different global regions, and the relationship of MoMA’s collection to the multiple histories of modernism. Participants included C-MAP Counselors Mieke Bal and Homi Bhabha; Michio Hayashi, Sophia University, Japan; Vojtech Lahoda, Institute of Art History, Czech Republic; Nada Shabout, University of North Texas; Kuiyi Shen, University of California, San Diego.
Introductory Session on African Modernism featuring Salah Hassan
Salah Hassan, Art Historian, Professor, and Director of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, visited with MoMA’s senior staff and curators to provide an introductory session on African modernism. As the first C-MAP session to focus on the arts of the African continent, Professor Hassan’s presentation was intended to provide an overview and guide to the study of modernism in the context of African and African Diaspora art.
Collecting in a Global Context
The C-MAP Counselors, Mieke Bal, Homi Bhabha, and David Joselit, and Jaroslaw Suchan, Director of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, addressed various subjects relevant to each C-MAP group, including: the role of the Museum and its relationship to the collection and Archives; issues and questions that arise when incorporating works by Latin American artists into the Museum’s collection, and the issues of representing performative works and the distinction between “work” and “documentation”.
The aim of the 2013 C-MAP Seminar was to reflect on C-MAP’s goal to build a more global program that engages with the multiplicity of modernities and histories of contemporary and modern art. Participants included: C-MAP Counselors Mieke Bal, Homi Bhabha, and David Joselit; Zdenka Badovinac, Director, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Claire Hsu, Co-founder and Executive Director, Asia Art Archive; Ana Longoni, Professor, Programa de Estudios Independientes, MACBA, Barcelona; Caleb Waldorf, Artist.