Performing Histories (1) presents works that use time-based art forms to reflect on interpretations of history. The works, which have all recently entered the Museum's collection, represent the diverse practices of the artists: Kader Attia (b. France, 1970), Andrea Fraser (b. USA, 1965), Ion Grigorescu (b. Romania, 1945), Sharon Hayes (b. USA, 1970), Dorit Margreiter (b. Austria, 1967), Deimantas Narkevičius (b. Lithuania, 1964), and Martha Rosler (b. USA, 1943).
The practices, exemplified in these works, of revisiting existing narratives and examining one’s own cultural, social, and personal history are not bound to any specific medium; they are part of critical artistic practice, in general. In recent decades, artists have increasingly chosen to employ performance in conjunction with cinematic mediums, such as film, slide projection, video, and photography, in orderto create multifaceted narratives and provide new readings of past events.
Exploring social and political conditions and reconsidering their own personal pasts, the participating artists in Performing Histories (1) have deconstructed histories, focusing on the ambiguity of history and the impact of ideologies on individual and collective consciousness. The installation guides the visitors through a space of diverse readings in which connections can be drawn across different perspectives on history. Examining history as both document and fiction, the exhibited works raise questions about how the past is constructed and how it can inform the present.
Along with the exhibition, a number of live performances will be held in the Museum galleries. The series begins with Los Angeles based artist Andrea Fraser’s performance Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK, 1972 (2012), a transcribed and edited dialogue from a 1972 live radio broadcast in which four men discuss feminist struggles. Originally produced by West of Rome.
A special section in the MoMA Media Lounge is dedicated to videos related to the exhibition.
Organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator (until January 31, 2013), and Martin Hartung, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.
Performing Histories (1) is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.
Image: Andrea Fraser. Soldadera (Scenes from Un banquete en Tetlapayac, a film by Olivier Debroise). 1998/2001. Two-channel video installation (color, sound), 5-page facsimile letter from Frances Flynn Paine to Mrs. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Installation view, Modernologies, MACBA, 2009. © Photographer: Tony Coll. Courtesy of Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)