Paulina Olowska. <i>Alphabet.</i> 2005. 26 coloured cards. 4 b/w cards with poems by Frances Stark, Josef Strau, Paulus Mazur in box, 21 x 15 x 2 cm, Edition 100 + 10. Ex. signed und numbered. Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin

Paulina Olowska. Alphabet. 2005/12

Saturday, May 5, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, first floor, exterior

The Performance Program is part of MoMA’s increased focus on the historical as well as the contemporary practice of performance-based art. The ongoing series brings documentation and reenactments of historic performances, thematic group exhibitions, solo presentations, and original performance works to various locations throughout the Museum.

The performance Alphabet, by Paulina Olowksa (Polish, b. 1976), is inspired by Czech designer Karel Teige's typographic book ABECEDA (which was published in Prague in 1926 and recently reprinted). Referring to the poetics of typography and Eastern European avant-garde tradition, the work involves collaboration with other performers, who curve and stretch their bodies into 26 letters, from A to Z, to construct a new system for conveying meaning. The performance also includes the presentation of short poems by Josef Strau, Frances Stark, and Paulus Mazur. The physicality of text, writing, and the contexts in which words appear are all parts of Olowska’s poetics. Alphabet was first performed in 2005 at Galerie Meerrettich, on the roof of the Kiosk at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin, within a project curated by Josef Strau.

Performers: Katy Pyle, Jessie Gold, Daniel Squire, and Kevin Hurley

In conjunction with the exhibition Words in the World

Free with Museum admission