Where is the cutting edge of the motion picture? Discover it first at MoMA. Building upon the Museum's long tradition of exploring cinematic experimentation, Modern Mondays is a showcase for innovation on screen. Engage with contemporary filmmakers and moving image artists, and rediscover landmark works that changed the way we experience film and media.
Organized by the Department of Film and the Department of Media and Performance Art.
Related Film Screenings
An Evening With Barbara Moss
In conjunction with Carte Blanche: Women’s Film Preservation Fund, WFPF cofounder Barbara Moss discusses the unique characteristics of the WFPF, and her own work as a filmmaker. A Crime to Fit the Punishment (1982), which Moss codirected with Stephen Mack, investigates the 1954 labor film Salt of the Earth (which is in the MoMA collection) and the attempts by Hollywood and the U.S. government to shut down its production. Salt of the Earth was made during the controversial days of Cold War paranoia, the McCarthy witch hunt, and the dreadful Hollywood blacklist. Following a screening of A Crime to Fit the Punishment, Barbara Moss joins Anne Morra, Associate Curator in the Department of Film, for a discussion.
The Secession Sessions: An Evening With Eric Baudelaire And Maxim Gvinjia
Eric Baudelaire conceived The Secession Sessions as a way to explore the idea of statehood through the prism of the “stateless state” of Abkhazia, which seceded from Georgia, in the Caucasus, during a civil war in 1992–93. The project comprises various elements taking place in several regions of the world, including Paris, Bergen, Berkeley, and New York, including regular public office hours at the Embassy of Abkhazia, created for parts of the exhibition and staffed by Maxim Gvinjia, former Foreign Minister of Abkhazia.
Baudelaire explains: “Like all disputed lands, Abkhazia is entangled in a conflicted narrative. To many Georgians, the breakaway state is a rogue nationalist regime, an amputated part of Georgia. To the Abkhaz, independence saved them from cultural extinction after years of Stalinist repression and Georgian domination. To many observers, Abkhazia is simply a pawn in the Great Game Russia and the West have always played in the Caucasus. The Secession Sessions acknowledges these competing narratives...which makes the self-construction of its narrative something worth exploring.”
For this Modern Mondays event, held in conjunction with Documentary Fortnight 2015 and Discovering Georgian Cinema, Baudelaire screens his new film, Letters to Max (2014) and discusses the issues at stake in The Secession Sessions.
An Evening with Dara Birnbaum and Hito Steyerl
In conjunction with the exhibition Cut to Swipe, this event brings together Dara Birnbaum (American, b. 1946) and Hito Steyerl (German, b. 1966), two artists from different generations, for a discussion exploring the impact of changing technologies, production methods, and systems of distribution on the ways in which artists relate to and repurpose images.
One of the first artists to appropriate television imagery, in the mid-1970s Birnbaum began manipulating and re-combining TV footage, using tapes pirated from television stations or commercial studios. In the 1980s, she claimed a place for video in museums and public spaces with her multi-channel video installations. Steyerl is an artist and critic whose essayistic works have become central to dialogues about how images are produced, circulated, and shared in a digital world. Over the last decade, she has written extensively about the nature of low-quality, degraded images (described as “poor images”) that proliferate freely on the Internet.
Birnbaum and Steyerl have deconstructed the mass distribution of images and their meanings, in parallel with the increased availability of production technologies. Brought together in conversation for the first time, they will discuss a range of topics, including the visibility (and invisibility) of the subject in both the analog and digital ages, appropriation and activism, and the role of popular culture and music in their work. The discussion will be moderated by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.
An Evening with Michael Haneke
Haneke introduces Funny Games (1997), the final film in his retrospective.
1997. Austria. Michael Haneke. 108 min.
An Evening with Kevin Everson
For just over ten years, Kevin Jerome Everson (Charlottesville, Virginia) has been making films about the working-class culture of black Americans and people of African descent. He has completed a prodigious number of works, including two features and over forty short 16mm, 35mm, and digital films. Born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, Everson frequently records family, friends, and life in the Midwest, but he has also developed art projects in Rome and elsewhere. His films look for the art in everyday life, revealing people's relationship to their crafts and focusing on the conditions, tasks, gestures, and materials in communities. Much of Everson's recent work is inspired by found footage. He manipulates news and sports footage, old films, still photographs, and image files in various ways, subtly repositioning or restaging actions and movements to highlight or shift the original emphasis. This presentation includes Emergency Needs (2007), based on a press conference with Cleveland mayor Carl Stokes; Something Else (2007), an interview with Miss Black Roanoke, Virginia, 1971; and several premieres of shorts.
An Evening with Ernie Gehr
Ernie Gehr discusses two structuralist masterpieces separated by twenty years—Serene Velocity (1970) and Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991)—and relates them to his interest in pre-cinema objects and the artists who invented a "cinema of attractions," as evidenced in Gehr's works in Panoramas of the Moving Image.
1970. USA. Ernie Gehr. 23 min.
1991. USA. Ernie Gehr. 41 min.
2006. Germany. Birgit Moeller. 85 min.
An Evening with Michael Sporn
The artist takes part in a conversation with animation historian/filmmaker John Canemaker and MoMA assistant curator Joshua Siegel. The discussion is illustrated with clips from Sporn's award-winning animated films, including a new short, Pab's First Burger, and an excerpt from his feature-length work-in-progress about the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe. Sporn's career is also traced through his commercials, public service announcements, title sequences, and visuals for the Broadway stage.
An evening with Ronald Bronstein
Filmmaker Ronald Bronstein introduces a screening of his new film, Frownland.
2007. USA. Ronald Bronstein. 106 min.
An Evening with Joshua Mosley
Philadelphia artist Joshua Mosley uses stop-motion animation to explore communication and the ways in which technology complicates it. He presents recent work, including Dread (2007). Installed at the fifty-second Venice Biennale, the work is a morality play in which the worlds of thought, imagination, and the subconscious are conjured and easy conclusions are forestalled. An animated photographic forest is the background against which two characters—French philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Blaise Pascal—hold a conversation on the relationship between God-given natural order, free will, and the human and animal conditions.
An Evening with Lida Abdul
Lida Abdul uses diverse media to explore such concepts as obliteration, erasure, and loss of roots. In Clapping with Stones (2005), men knock together stones that were produced by the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, making a sound that evokes both destruction and construction. Born in Kabul in 1973, Abdul was forced to flee Afghanistan, living in political asylum centers for five years before moving to the U.S. She now resides in both the U.S. and Afghanistan.
An Evening with Mario Rizzi
The moving image artist Mario Rizzi (b. 1962, Barletta, Italy) makes both single-screen projections and multiscreen installations. Although his base is Turin, Rizzi often takes up residence outside Italy in communities experiencing significant change. There, the artist patiently observes and films individuals coping with transformations within their societies.
Murat ve Ismail (Murat and Ismail)
2005. Turkey. Mario Rizzi. 60 min.
An Evening with Barbara Caspar
Barbara Caspar (b. 1979, Graz, Austria) studied philosophy, psychology, art, and (with Michael Haneke as a professor) film.
Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?
2007. Austria/Germany. Barbara Caspar. Approx. 90 min.
An Evening with Jeffrey Jeturian
Toward the end of The Bet Collector's weeklong run as part of Global Lens, 2008, the director discusses his technique and his work in relation to Filipino cinema.
Kubrador (The Bet Collector)
2006. Philippines. Jeffrey Jeturian. 98 min.
An Evening with Pascale Ferran
Ferran introduces her adaptation of Lady Chatterley (2006).
Lady Chatterley et l'homme des bois (Lady Chatterley)
2006. France/Belgium. Pascale Ferran. 168 min.
An Evening with Antonio Campos and Cinéfondation
In conjunction with Cinéfondation, Cannes 2007, the Department of Film presents a discussion with Antonio Campos, whose film Buy It Now (2004, USA) was awarded first prize in the 2005 Cinéfondation competition in Cannes. The 2007 Cinéfondation-winning films will be screened during this event, along with Buy It Now.
An Evening with Andrea Geyer: Spiral Lands_Chapter 2
Via a slide lecture, multimedia artist Geyer explores the scholar's role in the critical examination of the relationship between land and identity, and the ways in which this relationship frames and determines our (mis)understanding of the contemporary U.S. Taking the American Southwest as an example, her extensive photographic and textual historiography progresses nonlinearly from historic encounters to current situations.
An Evening with Sharon Hayes: On Politics and Desire
Hayes moves between multiple mediums—sound, performance, video, and installation—in an ongoing investigation of the intersections of history, politics, and speech. Her works draw on fictional narratives and interrogations of "real world" narratives, such as the rhetoric of Presidential addresses or the audiotapes made by Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hayes presents her most recent work, which focuses on the conditions of public speech and public opinion, and on the complicated relationship between politics and desire.
An Evening with Yeondoo Jung
Yeondoo Jung (Korean, b. 1969) is a photo and moving image artist whose feature-length silent work Documentary Nostalgia (2007) is quietly astonishing. Named by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul as artist of the year, Jung imagines his own biography as a series of colorful and elaborate locations that "flow" into one another. Shot in one static, unbroken take, like those found in very early film, Documentary Nostalgia records the transformation of six dense sets (room, rice field, city street, pasture, etc.) into a final cloud-capped summit. The fixed camera observes a carefully choreographed team of workers and actors changing scenes, donning costumes, and even leading cows to graze as the artist's own life swirls by. It is at once a riff on reality, a dreamy performance piece, and a genuine work of cinema.
An Evening with Akram Zaatari
Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari interweaves documentary and personal narrative to examine the complicated social, political, and cultural issues of a country shaped by extended territorial conflict. His videos and installations speak of the contradictions of everyday life within regions of conflict further fragmented by media. Al Yaoum (This Day) chronicles thirty years of Lebanon, and in How I Love You, five Lebanese men speak about their passions and relationships. Presented in conjunction with Asian Contemporary Art Week. For more information, visit www.acaw.net.
An Evening with Kazuhiro Soda
The filmmaker introduces his debut feature, Campaign, as part of Contemporasian. The film will also be shown on April 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, with no filmmaker introduction.
2007. Japan. Kazuhiro Soda. 119 min.
Synthetic Times: Media Art Now
To complement the exhibition Synthetic Times—Media Art China 2008, a Cultural Olympics project opening at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in June 2008, media artists debate issues revolving around the exhibition's themes: Beyond Body; Emotive Digital; The Recombinant Reality; and Here, There, and Everywhere. With NAMOC director Fan Dian; artists Miao Xiaochun and Xu Bing; exhibition producer Li Zhenghua; and curator Zhang Ga. This event kicks off a pre-exhibition symposium (April 15) held at Parsons, the New School for Design, and eyebeam, in collaboration with the National Art Museum of China. For details visit www.mediartchina.org.
An Evening with Kalup Linzy
Kalup Linzy (b. Stuckey, FL; lives Brooklyn, NY) is best known for the performance-based videos that he has written, directed, edited, and performed in professionally since 1990. Adopting the styles and narratives of American television soap operas, Hollywood tearjerkers and romance films, Spanish-language novellas, and Nigerian video melodramas, Linzy satirically deconstructs themes of sexuality and gender, race, class, and pop culture. The soundtracks are pre-recorded and lip-synched and the characters—sublimely cast with a range of engaging professional and nonprofessional performers—are frequently played in drag. Linzy himself plays the starring role and often performs the voice-overs for the other characters. His videos and performances are popularly received on YouTube and MySpace, on broadcast radio, and in galleries and museums worldwide.
The program includes highlights from Linzy's song-based videos, including Lollypop (2006), As da Artworld Might Turn (2006), and Melody Set Me Free (2007). Also included are two premieres: How Katessa Got Her Groove Back (2008), a satirical short based on the film How Stella Got Her Groove Back; and SweetBerry Sonnet (2008), a work in progress.
An Evening with Karen Yasinsky
Karen Yasinksy (b. Pittsburgh, PA; lives Baltimore, MD) makes short animated films based on beautifully rendered clay-modeled figures and drawings. To create these works, the artist works alone on each aspect of the story—drawing and modeling, sets and costume design, direction, cinematography, and stop-animation shooting. The musical soundtracks are made in collaboration with composer Winston Rice and others. Her twelve-inch-tall clay figures, with hand-painted faces and hand-stitched clothing, move minimally within small, simple sets. The characters are silent, the expression on their faces static, and their bodies move in small gestures. The result is compelling and realistic, partially due to the fact that the characters' stories are developed as Yasinsky shoots the stop-motion animation. The figures reflect a soulful playfulness reminiscent of Buster Keaton.
Filmmakers are a major influence on Yasinksy, and she has reconstructed the characters and narratives of several films. A recent five-part series (based on Jean Vigo's L'Atalante) uses several animation techniques to explore different aspects of the lovers' relationship and includes a haunting six-minute black-and-white film, La Nuit (2007). Her Au Hasard Balthazar (2008), based on Robert Bresson's eponymous film, premieres at the Museum. The program also features earlier works, including Boys (2002), Animal Behavior (2003), and No Place Like Home #1 and #2 (1999).
Peter Hutton in Conversation with Luc Sante
To open his MoMA retrospective, Peter Hutton presents New York Portrait, Part I (1978–79) and Skagafjördur (2002–04) as part of a special conversation with Luc Sante, visiting professor of writing and the history of photography at Bard College, and author of Low Life, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings.
LoVid is the New York–based interdisciplinary artist duo Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus. Their work includes live video installations, sculptures, digital prints, patchworks, media projects, performances, and video recordings. They combine many opposing elements, contrasting hard electronics and soft patchworks; handmade items and machine-produced objects; and analog and digital. This multidirectional approach is reflected in the content of their work, simultaneously romantic and aggressive, wireless and wire-full. The artists present their performance Help Carry a Tune (2007) and perform with their Sync Armonica synthesizer.
An Evening with Olga Chernysheva
Moscow-based Russian artist Olga Chernysheva, a graduate of the Moscow Cinema Academy and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, captures quotidian life in contemporary, post-Communist Russia using video, photography, drawing, and painting. For this presentation, Chernysheva discusses her artistic practice in the context of Russia today, and shows several of her video works. In The Train (2003), the director's camera traverses the cars of an intercity Moscow train; Anonymous (2004) portrays a middle-aged woman and a drunken man each having a private moment in a public park; and March (2005) captures the dynamics between young male cadets, scantily clad teenage cheerleaders, and band members performing before a corporate event. The program also includes her newest video, Untitled. After Sengai (2008). Special thanks to Foxy Production, New York.
An Evening with Bruce LaBruce
Bruce LaBruce, whose lively, gay-themed feature narratives like No Skin Off My Ass (1992), Hustler White (1996), and The Raspberry Reich (2004) helped establish and affirm the punk Homocore movement, makes films with an aggressively light touch. Based in Toronto and a co-creator of the queer zine J.D.s, LaBruce brings an energetically cartoonish vision to his films, transforming their radicalism into provocative entertainment.
Otto, or Up with Dead People
2007. Germany/Canada. Bruce LaBruce. 95 min.
An Evening with Susan Hiller
The American-born, London-based artist Susan Hiller creates works across a range of mediums, from installation and video art to photography, performance, and writing. She describes her art as a kind of "archaeological investigation, uncovering something to make a different kind of sense of it." Her latest work, The Last Silent Movie (2008), brings attention to the unexplored recorded archives of extinct and endangered languages, rebroadcasting "lost" voices that poignantly continue to speak. The work revives the words and voices of people who are presumably no longer living, unearthing some of the ghosts that haunt these musty sound recordings. The voices sing, tell stories, and recite vocabulary lists, and some, directly or indirectly, accuse us of injustice. Hiller's short film Belshazzar's Feast (1983) will also be screened.
An Evening with Pipilotti Rist
In anticipation of the opening of Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters), a monumental commission for the Museum's second-floor atrium, the artist takes part in a conversation with Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator of Media, about her video, sound, and sculptural installations. Many of her earliest videos were made with the experimental klezmer-punk-pop band Les Reines Prochaines, of which she was a member from 1988 to 1994. In the early 1990s, Rist began experimenting with various forms of electronic media. In 2005 she represented Switzerland at the fifty-first Venice Biennale, where she presented Homo sapiens sapiens (2005), an expansive video projected onto the ceiling of the San Stae church. For her upcoming installation at MoMA, Rist re-envisions the architecture and use of space in the Museum's atrium by creating a lush, immersive landscape shaped by images, sound, and sculptural elements.
The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Nominee Panel
The five nominees for this year's Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award gather for a panel discussion illustrated with film clips.
Thurston Moore Introduces Early Music Videos by David Bowie
Thurston Moore Introduces Early Music Videos by David Bowie
Held in celebration of the recent gift from the David Bowie Archive of music videos to the Museum, this program presents a special selection of works by the celebrated musician, actor, and producer. Bowie, who began playing the saxophone when he was thirteen years old, worked as a commercial artist before studying mime and, later, playing in bands. In 1969 he co-founded Beckenham Arts Lab in South London, a crucible for experimentation that hosted artist studios, poetry readings, and events such as light shows, theatrical and dance performances, and puppet shows. For several of his videos, Bowie collaborated with the photographer and filmmaker Mick Rock, best known for his photos of 1970s glam and punk icons including Iggy Pop, Queen, the Ramones, Lou Reed, and the Sex Pistols. Thurston Moore, of the "No Wave" band Sonic Youth, provides commentary throughout the program.
An Evening with Lonnie van Brummelen
Lonnie van Brummelen (b. 1969, Soest, The Netherlands) studied art at Rietveld Academie and Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Initially trained as a painter, Van Brummelen began working with film at the end of the 1990s. Since 2001, she has collaborated with Siebren de Haan on thought-provoking site-specific exhibition projects and essays. The artist's recent work Monument of Sugar: How to Use Artistic Means to Elude Trade Barriers (2007) combines sculpture and 16mm film in an exploration of subsidized economies, the global sugar market, and how artistic practice can disrupt and subvert economic policies. In response to anti-competitive policies set by the European Union to protect its native sugar production and to the detrimental impact these policies have on other countries, Van Brummelen and De Haan decided to stage an intervention. They subverted EU restrictions on sugar importation by using European sugar dumped cheaply into Nigeria to create sculptures, then returning it to Europe as an artistic product. This screening and discussion with the artist is presented in collaboration with apexart International Residency program.
Monument of Sugar: How to Use Artistic Means to Elude Trade Barriers
2007. The Netherlands. Lonnie van Brummelen, in collaboration with Siebren de Haan. 63 min.
An Evening with Anthony McCall
The central formal element underlying Anthony McCall's fusion of sculpture and cinema is durational structure. In this program, McCall discusses his recent projects within the context of his early work, expanding on the idea of durational drawing (in 2008 he reenacted the 1974 work Five-Minute Drawing at the artist-run exhibition space Orchard). Influenced by music scores, flow charts, storyboards, and architectural projections, his "solid light" installations are always initially developed through drawing; he also does the reverse, producing studies after a work has been realized. McCall discusses the relationship between the drawn line and the projection beam—representations of time and volumetric form on paper. McCall's work is currently presented in Anthony McCall: Elements for a Retrospective (Utzon Center, Aalborg, Denmark, previously at the Serpentine Gallery, London) and Anthony McCall (Galerie Martine Aboucaya, Paris), in addition to the following group exhibitions: Notation: Calculation and Form in the Arts (Akademie Der Kunste, Berlin), Cinema Indeed: Narratives & Projections (Itaú Cultural Center, São Paulo), Singapore Biennial 2008, and Seeing Double (Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne).
An Evening with Jesper Just
Since beginning to work with film and video in 2000, Jesper Just (b. Denmark, 1974) has created a boldly stylized body of work that straddles the boundaries between performance art, installation, and cinema. Just's work challenges conventional views of gender and sexuality, blurs the line between fantasy and reality, and, like the work of Michaelangelo Antonioni, explores the intense psychological (dis)connect between body and space. His protagonists navigate both highly aestheticized interiors marked with expressionistic shadows, and lush, naturalistic exteriors. Like Maya Deren in At Land, these characters are physically, emotionally, and psychologically alienated from the world around them. Conventional gender roles and notions of behavior are the true villains in Just's work; his heroes are those who are able—however momentarily—to overcome their inhibitions and turn repressive environments into highly emotive performance spaces.
Justs latest trilogy of films, A Voyage in Dwelling, A Room of One's Own, and A Question of Silence (all 2008), illustrate his expanding artistic vision. In contrast to his earlier, stand-alone pieces, this narrative cycle is linked by the female protagonist's journey through incessantly mutating spaces, culminating in an ecstatic moment of self-discovery. With these films, Just continues to expand the boundaries of his style, his lucid imagery floating further into the realm of dreamscape. MoMA presents the world premiere of the full trilogy in a theatrical setting. Followed by a discussion with the artist led by Giuliana Bruno, professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard University. Bruno's book Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (Verso, 2002) won the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for "world's best book on the moving image." Her Streetwalking on a Ruined Map (Princeton University Press, 1993) won the Kovács prize for best book in film studies. Her latest book is Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts (MIT Press in 2007).
An Evening with Miroslaw Balka
Warsaw-based artist Miroslaw Balka (b. Otwock, Poland, 1958) presents and discusses his video and installation projects Sundays Kill More; Postcards; Mapping the Studio, Too (all 2008); Bottom (1999/2003); and Bambi (from Winterreise) (2003). These works deal with both personal and collective memories, especially as they relate to the artist's Catholic upbringing and the cumulative experience of Poland's fractured history. Through this investigation of domestic memories and public catastrophe, Balka explores how subjective traumas are translated into collective histories, and vice versa. His materials are everyday objects, but the resulting works resonate with ritual, hidden memories, and the legacy of the Nazi occupation of Poland. This program is presented in association with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.
An Evening with John Gianvito
Filmmaker John Gianvito introduces his latest film, presented as part of Documentary Fortnight 2009. Following the screening, Gianvito will engage in a discussion with Marita Sturken, professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where she teaches courses in visual culture, cultural studies, cultural memory, and consumerism. She is the author of several books, including Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering.
Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
2007. USA. John Gianvito. 58 min.
An Evening with Guido van der Werve
Dutch artist Guido van der Werve introduces the premiere of his latest video, Number 12 (2009), which "evolves" around a chessboard that also functions as a piano. The video was shot in Manhattan's Marshall Chess Club, on Mount St. Helens, and on the San Andreas fault line. The work, which features a score composed and played by the artist, concludes in a curious stalemate. Van der Werve belongs to a long line of artists who have trudged off into the wilderness in order to portray new visions of their world. For his Number 8 (2007), for example, he filmed himself slowly walking across the frozen Baltic Sea, mere steps in front of a massive icebreaker ship as it steamed relentlessly ahead. Born in 1977 near Rotterdam, van der Werve's interdisciplinary background includes classical piano, electric guitar, industrial design, archaeology, performance, and film.
An Evening with Jan Sikl and Ivan Passer
Jan Sikl opens the exhibition of his Czech film series Private Century with a screening of the episode Daddy and Lili "Marlene," followed by a conversation with Ivan Passer.
Tatícek a Lili "Marlén" (Daddy and Lili "Marlene")
2007. Czech Republic. Jan Sikl. 52 min.
An Evening with Tehching Hsieh
Artist Tehching Hsieh (b. 1950, Taiwan) gives a talk in conjunction with the exhibition Performance 1: Tehching Hsieh, the inaugural installation in an ongoing series that brings performance documentation, original performance pieces, and live reenactments of historic performances to various locations throughout the Museum. The artist will show highlights of the stunning and versatile visual documentations he made of his durational performances, the last of which, Thirteen Year Plan, was completed in 1999. In a conversation with Adrian Heathfield, professor of performance and visual culture at Roehampton University, London, Hsieh will address the fundamental concept of lived duration in his oeuvre, and how the forceful resilience and rigorous lengths of his performances challenge the conventional division of artistic and lived time.
An Evening with Julius Ziz
Julius Ziz (Lithuanian, b. 1970) liberates cinema from its theatrical underpinnings, elevating it with a poetic vision at once singular and beautiful. Stories spin off like whirling flanges of plot from conventional narrative, and the films rely on rhythm to suggest what the mind knows in a preconscious manner. It is this "capturing" of thought before its articulation that makes a Ziz experience resonant and valuable. Ziz graduated from the Film Academy in Tbilisi before moving to New York, where he worked with Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives. In addition to making films, Ziz writes for the theater.
Vilkas (The Wolf)
2008. Lithuania. Julius Ziz. 20 min.
1999. USA. Julius Ziz. 19 min.
Et le cochon fut né (And the Pig Was Born)
2001. USA. Julius Ziz. 23 min.
An Evening with Carter
New York–based artist and filmmaker Carter (b. 1970) introduces the U.S. premiere of his most recent film, Erased James Franco (2008), and takes part in a post-screening conversation with its star, James Franco. Recalling the intellectual gamesmanship of Robert Rauschenberg's 1953 drawing Erased de Kooning, from which it derives its title, Erased James Franco is simultaneously a study of the craft of acting and of the fracturing—and reconstitution—of narrative and identity. While filmmakers in recent years have attempted shot-for-shot remakes of existing films—most notably Gus Van Sant with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Michael Haneke with his own Funny Games—the emphasis here is on a single actor, alone on stage, recreating iconic film performances that have been stripped of their original context. In addition to reenacting scenes from several of his own past film roles, Franco also reinterprets a pair of haunting portrayals of psychic disintegration and renewal: Julianne Moore's role in Todd Haynes's Safe and Rock Hudson's in John Frankenheimer's Seconds. Denied the charged interplay with other actors, Franco adopts a strangely flat affect, imbuing the film with a quality that Carter describes as "like bloodletting or a kind of cleansing…a building up and tearing down, simultaneously." Courtesy Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris.
An Evening with Sterling Ruby
Los Angeles–based artist Sterling Ruby (German, b. 1972) is known for totemic resin forms, intentionally defaced Minimalist sculptures, and membrane-like ceramics. He also works with video and photography, drawing inspiration from graffiti, science fiction, institutional architecture, and antiquity. Ruby's work tackles aesthetic tropes and social stereotypes, using gestures that refer to notions of transience, transgression, and transference. The program includes the premiere of Ruby's recent untitled video from 2009, along with other works including Agoraphobic (2001), Found Cushion Act (2005), Transient Trilogy (2005–09), and Dihedral (2006).
An Evening with Michel Auder
For over forty years Michel Auder (French, b. 1945) has compulsively recorded the events of his life. Embracing a variety of roles—including silent participant, obsessive voyeur, discreet accomplice, and simple observer—he creates brashly self-referential films and videos that have earned him wide renown. Auder's decades-long love affair with the Sony Portapak video system has yielded an epic amount of unsparing, poetic footage delineating the flamboyant life of an art-world dandy. His latest work, The Feature, intercuts selections from Auder's personal video archive with new segments (directed by Andrew Neel) in which Auder's doppelganger (played by Auder himself) learns that he suffers from an incurable disease. The Feature's fictionalized biography intermingles truth, lies, life, and art into an ambiguous self-contained universe. The film illuminates, through the brutal honesty of visual diaries, the artist's experiences in the New York art scene, from wild times at Andy Warhol's Factory to Auder's marriages to Viva and Cindy Sherman. Following the screening, Auder and Neel discuss A Feature and their use of personal archival footage.
An Evening with Mel Chin
Mel Chin (b. 1951) is an internationally celebrated and socially engaged conceptual artist whose work encompasses several disciplines. Already well known for interventions, earthworks, drawings, and works in other mediums, the Texan artist recently turned to filmmaking. In 2007 he completed his first animated work, 9-11/9-11, which confronts a pair of historic September 11s: Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup d'état in Chile, and the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. The video will be screened twice, and a discussion with the artist and the audience will take place in between.
9-11/9-11. 2007. USA/Chile. Directed by Mel Chin. Screenplay by Chin, Steven Foster. Produced and edited by Chip Schneider. Animation by Planovisual Estudio de Animación, Santiago, from the graphic novel by Ignacio Moreles. With Lili Taylor. Courtesy Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York.
An Evening with Péter Forgács
Budapest-based avant-garde media artist and film director Péter Forgács (Hungarian, b. 1950) is widely acclaimed for his award-winning work using home movies. In 1983 he established the Private Photo and Film Foundation Archive (PPFA), a unique collection of amateur film footage that he uses as the basis for his experimental documentaries. He has received wide recognition for his ongoing Private Hungary series of films exploring the history and legacy of the Hungarian people, and in 2007 he received the Erasmus Award for exceptional contribution to European culture. The artist presents his most recent film, Hunky Blues: The American Dream, about the fate of Hungarian men and women who arrived in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. The film was created specially for the event series Extremely Hungary: Art and Culture Beyond Your Expectation.
An Evening with Aernout Mik
On the occasion of the MoMA exhibition Aernout Mik, the first U.S. museum survey of the artist's work, Modern Mondays presents a virtual tour of the eight works spread throughout the Museum. Mik designs, sculpts, and builds constructions that both contain his moving images and engage the body of the spectator, creating a kinesthetic relationship between viewer and viewed. These moving-image installations uniquely meld filmmaking, sculpture, and architecture into an experience that is at once compelling, unsettling, and original. Following a presentation by Laurence Kardish, organizer of the exhibition, Mik will participate in a conversation with MoMA Director Glenn Lowry.
An Evening with Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
Based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and trained in both film and visual art, Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev produce video installations that encapsulate everyday life in Central Asia, and their work has been exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago (2007), the Venice and Singapore biennials, and Winkleman Gallery, New York. Shot along the ancient Silk Road connecting China and Kyrgyzstan with Western markets, the artists' videos portray the resourcefulness that defines this mountainous, poverty-stricken region. In conjunction with Asia Art Week, this program includes their Algorithm of Survival and Hope (2005), along with other recent work.
An Evening with Brody Condon
New York–based artist Brody Condon (b. Mexico, 1974) introduces his Without Sun (2006), a video compilation of “found performances”—online videos of people who recorded themselves while having a psychedelic experience. The screening is followed by a live reenactment of these drug-induced journeys, with an actor mimicking the voices and a dancer matching the body movements. Condon will also discuss Case, his upcoming performance adaptation of William Gibson’s classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (1984), which was commissioned by Rhizome and premieres at the New Museum as part of Performa 09. Copresented with Performa 09, with special thanks to Lana Wilson.
An Evening with Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn
"The video works of Los Angeles duo Harry Dodge (American, b. 1966) and Stanya Kahn (American, b. 1968) confront the alienation and violence of contemporary American life with absurdist humor. Dodge and Kahn’s collaborative, performance-based videos inhabit an urban L.A. landscape that evokes both the everyday and the post-apocalyptic. In deadpan performances and elliptical narratives, Dodge and Kahn infuse their uncanny visions of contemporary culture with wit, dread, and longing." (Text reprinted courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix.) During their talk the artists screen and discuss works from throughout their careers.
An Evening with Christian Marclay
Christian Marclay (b. 1955, California) trained as a visual artist at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and at Cooper Union in New York while performing as a musician in the late 1970s. Over the last thirty years, Marclay has created an extensive body of work, including collages of music, sculpture, photography, and video. Using a wide array of mediums and materials, Marclay has explored the relationships between sight and sound and the convergence of the visual and the auditory. His work continues to navigate an exchange between these two areas, exploring questions about how sound is created, transformed, remembered, and interpreted. Marclay participates in a discussion of his recent work, including 2822 Records (P.S.1) (1987–2009), a site-specific, floor-based installation of vinyl records that is currently on view at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.
An Evening with Dara Friedman
Dara Friedman (German, b. 1968), a moving-image artist who lives and works in Miami, presents her Musical (2008), which was recently acquired by MoMA. This exhilarating “film” exactingly documents a series of singing performances, made possible by the Public Art Fund, that were photographed between September 17 and October 5, 2007, on the streets of midtown Manhattan. In an attempt “to turn the volume up on the song that’s going on in your head as you’re walking down the street,” Friedman invited about sixty ordinary New Yorkers to suddenly, surprisingly break into song—seemingly in mid-stride, whether in the middle of a block or inside a building.
An Evening with Nina Könnemann
Artist Nina Könnemann (German, b. 1971) presents the first New York screenings of her short single-channel moving image works. According to critic Jan Verwoert, Könnemann’s pieces “gently unhinge [viewers’] sense of time and space. No special effects are used, and all the actions shown are real events, none of them what you might call spectacular.” These works deal with disillusionment, the dark side of ecstasy, and the unrequited search for connection and, perhaps, passion. Könnemann concentrates on the “after” of events, celebrating what happens on the sidelines and in the margins, and locating a drama in the otherness of the ordinary. Special thanks to Karin Guenther.
An Evening with Zoe Beloff
Zoe Beloff’s intensely original work investigates the unconscious processes of the mind and the possibility of graphically recording mental states. Her complex, innovative films and installations can be interpreted as an interface between the living and the dead, the real and the imagined, in which the artist acts as a kind of medium, questioning the artistic validity of separating truth and fiction. Beloff will discuss several projects, including The Influencing Machine of Miss Natalija A.; The Somnambulists, which examines the relationship between hysteria and theater; and her current exhibition at the Coney Island Museum, Dreamland: The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and their Circle 1926–1972, which takes as its point of departure Sigmund Freud’s visit to the Coney Island amusement park a century ago. The artist will also screen a selection of “Dream Films” from the exhibition.
An Evening with Jim Finn
A brilliant and wickedly satirical mash-up of documentary, fictionalized restaging, and agitprop, Jim Finn’s The Juche Idea (2008) takes as its inspiration and its target the film theories and principles of self-reliance espoused by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. Absolutist in the extreme, the Dear Leader’s moviemaking edicts were designed to uphold the “monolithic ideology of the Party.” Finn subjects them to withering parody through genre-defying experimental conceits, incorporating scenes from North Korean melodramas and propaganda films dating back to the 1950s, allusions to the 1978 kidnapping of the late South Korean filmmaker Shin Sang-ok, and absurdist reenactments of English-language lessons from official textbooks. Robert Koehler in Variety writes, “The evidence that current film-making is brimming with original, standard-breaking creations has to include the work of Jim Finn…. To say that [his] films open up new possibilities for satire, ideas, and language isn’t an overstatement.” Finn also presents two recent short films, Dick Cheney in a Cold, Dark Cell (2009) and la loteria (2004–05).
An Evening with Wolfgang Staehle
Wolfgang Staehle—founder of The Thing, an online community made up of dozens of members’ websites, mailing lists, and an online community forum of artists, writers, programmers, curators, and political activists—discusses his recent installation A Matter of Time, the fifth in a series of works based on live video streams and chronophotography. Staehle’s streaming projects began in 1996 with a dusk-to-dawn view of the Empire State Building projected live in Karlsruhe, Germany. Other sites have included the Fernsehturm in Berlin and a Yanomami village in the Brazilian rainforest. Each installation draws attention to time—a one-to-one, linear time; a simulative "real time"; or the contrivance of frozen time.
In Conversation: An Evening with John Cale
John Cale (Welsh, b. 1942), artist, musician, sonic innovator, and a founding member of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground, reflects upon the liaison between music and art. The evening includes a discussion of his recent work Dyddiau Du (Dark Days) (2009), currently on view in the Wales Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The installation exemplifies the multivalent nature of contemporary media art. The event, which is held in conjunction with the MoMA exhibition Looking at Music: Side 2, will be moderated by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.
An Evening with Alfredo Jaar
In conjunction with MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, 2010, renowned artist, architect, and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar presents the U.S. premiere of his most recent short film Le Ceneri di Pasolini (The Ashes of Pasolini) (2009), which was produced in conjunction with a series of related art projects. A tribute to the brilliant Italian filmmaker, intellectual, poet, critic, and journalist Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Ashes of Pasolini incorporates footage from Pasolini’s films and rare interviews conducted prior to his sudden and mysterious death in 1975. The title refers to Pasolini’s own poem “Le Ceneri di Gramsci,” itself a eulogy to the Italian left-wing intellectual Antonio Gramsci.
Jaar, who lives and works in New York, was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1956. His work has been shown extensively in international biennials and solo and group exhibitions, and he frequently stages “public interventions” that bring to light injustice in the world.
An Evening with Marina Abramović
Abramović hosts a conversation about preparations for her MoMA exhibition Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. In particular, the artist speaks about “reperformance” as legacy and the future of performance art. The discussion is moderated by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, and MoMA Chief Curator at Large.
An Evening with Joseph DeLappe
Digital media artist and activist Joseph DeLappe has worked in new media since 1983, and in online, computer-game-based interventionist performance art since 2001. His recent projects include dead-in-iraq (2007), wherein he enters the name of each American military casualty from the war in Iraq into the popular U.S. government–funded “America’s Army” computer game; and The Salt Satyagraha Online: Gandhi’s March to Dandi in Second Life (2008), for which he created a “mixed-reality” durational performance utilizing a converted exercise treadmill to reenact Mahatma Gandhi’s 1930 Salt March. DeLappe discusses his continuing projects at the intersection of art and activism.
An Evening with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
New York–based artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (b. Great Britain, 1950) has been testing the limits and conventions of music, language, art, and identity for almost forty years. As a founding member of the seminal industrial band Throbbing Gristle, P-Orridge made music history. More recently, in collaboration with his partner Lady Jaye, the artist started an ongoing experiment in body modification aimed at creating one “pandrogynous” being. For this discussion, P-Orridge focuses on works created with the 1970s British avant-garde performance collective COUM Transmissions. The group’s collaboration culminated in the 1976 retrospective PROSTITUTION at London’s I.C.A. Gallery, which was vehemently attacked by the press and even debated in British Parliament. P-Orridge will show rare footage and images of COUM’s performances. Please note: This program may contain explicit material.
An Evening with Nathaniel Dorsky
Nathaniel Dorsky’s silent films transmit a kind of internal music through their gracefully calibrated visual rhythms. Beautiful, exquisitely framed images are joined together through meticulous editing, creating an experience akin to seeing the world anew. At this special Modern Mondays event, the venerated filmmaker will discuss his methods of creating visual poetry, premiere new work, and screen his recently completed trilogy. Dorsky introduces his short films Sarabande and Winter (both 2008), Compline (2009), and the world premiere of Aubade (2010), with an audience discussion to follow.
An Evening with Amie Siegel
As a prelude to Kino! 2010, MoMA presents Amie Siegel’s DDR/DDR (2008), a film essay about contemporary life in the former DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, better known as East Germany). Born in Chicago in 1974, Siegel graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bard College before heading to Berlin on the DAAD Berliner-Künstlerprogram. There, she has created a number of distinguished installations and single-screen moving image pieces. Many of these works, which she refers to as “cine constellations,” examine the nature of objectivity and historical memory.
An Evening with Matías Piñeiro
Filmmaker Matías Piñeiro (b. 1982, Buenos Aires) presents the North American premiere of his fiendishly clever, sophisticated, and remarkably assured feature Todos mienten (They All Lie, 2009). Winner of jury prizes at the Buenos Aires and Santiago international film festivals, They All Lie is a sensuous melodrama wrapped in a tantalizing intellectual mystery about Argentina’s nineteenth-century history of dictatorship and liberalism. Set in a secluded country house where a group of girls and boys in their twenties play games of love and chance, invent stories, spy on each other, and plan a robbery, the film situates us in Jacques Rivette territory with its arabesque plot lines, camera movements, and long takes, but also announces Piñeiro as one of the most exciting young filmmakers to come out of the new Argentine cinema.
An Evening with Suzanne Bocanegra
Suzanne Bocanegra is a New York–based artist whose recent work involves large-scale performance and installation pieces in which she “translates” two-dimensional information into three-dimensional scenarios for staging, movement, ballet, and music. For this evening’s program, Bocanegra will give an “artist’s talk” entitled When a Priest Marries a Witch, featuring actor Paul Lazar.
An Evening with Lars Laumann
Since 2005, Norwegian artist Lars Laumann (b. 1975) has used video as a means to investigate alternative realities and interests, from pop-culture fandom to the Internet to marginal or hidden lifestyles. Laumann’s films illuminate these realities from the point of view of an insider, not an outside commentator, capturing the subjective side of experience. His work is engaging, uncomfortable, voyeuristic, hardly believable; it breaks through the mundane to reveal something both thoughtful and provocative.
This evening’s program presents two works about individuals who have formed highly intense and unusual relationships. In Berlinmuren (2008), a Swedish woman named Eija-Riita Berliner-Mauer describes her emotional and sexual attraction to objects, and in particular her love affair with, and marriage to, the Berlin Wall. Shut Up Child, This Ain’t Bingo (2009), presented here in its New York premiere, depicts the relationship between the Norwegian artist Kjersti Andvig and Texan death-row inmate Carlton Turner. Andvig collaborated with Turner on a knitted-wool and wood sculpture based on the death row cell in which Turner lived for nine years. Laumann’s documentary follows the eighteen-month period prior to Turner’s execution, when their relationship turned from intellectual and artistic to romantic. With special thanks to the Royal Consulate General.
An Evening with Jill Magid
Jill Magid’s (American, b. 1973) performance-based work involves immersing herself in systems of authority, building relationships with police and Secret Service agents in order to explore issues of vulnerability, observation, and trust. For this evening, Magid will present a performance, The Redacted Manuscript, based on her experiences working with the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). Commissioned by the AIVD in 2005 to create an artwork for their headquarters, Magid immersed herself in the agency’s methods, using the tactics of the organization to conduct interviews with and collect personal information on AIVD undercover agents. Surprised by her ability to penetrate the organization to such depths, the agency censored many of the resultant artworks, including redacting a substantial portion of Magid’s manuscript for a novel based on her experience. In a dramatic conclusion to the AIVD commission, the original version of her manuscript was confiscated by the Dutch Ministry of Interior while it was on view in her exhibition at Tate Modern in 2009. Magid’s performance of The Redacted Manuscript will be followed by a Q&A with the artist. The cast includes Jill Magid, Charlie Kevin, Patricia Buckley, Justin Reinsilber, and Ed Vas.
An Evening with William E. Jones
William E. Jones (American, b. 1962) performs miraculous acts of resurrection and reanimation on forgotten, trashed, or mutilated films and still photographs, including Cold War propaganda, gay porn, New Deal–era documentary images, industrial and science films, and police surveillance footage. His fascination with the politics of image-making extends to an inventive manipulation of seemingly outmoded analog and digital technologies, from 8mm and 16mm film to videocassette recorders.
On May 24, Jones presents the New York premiere of several recent works, including selections from his ambitious multipart installation Discrepancy (2008–09), which envisions a 1951 cine-manifesto by Isidore Isou; Killed (2009), a looped moving-image work based on rejected photographs taken by Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, and others for the New Deal’s Farm Security Administration; A True Cross Section (2008), which dissects a 1939 March of Time newsreel, Science in Business, into ninety-seven parts and randomizes the order in which they are shown; and Youngstown and Steeltown (2008), a double-projection study of industrial progress and failed utopia. A fascinating lecturer, Jones will also discuss and present two related earlier works, The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998) and Film Montages (For Peter Roehr) (2006).
An Evening with Barbara Hammer
Barbara Hammer presents previously unknown works from her archive, concentrating on performance, photography, and installation pieces, and discusses some of the lesser-known and hidden aspects of her practice. The evening includes a reprise of some of her plays on gender and identity, including her role as Bob Hammer in Tender Fictions (1995), and other performance-related projects like Homage to Sappho (1978), Put a Lesbian in the Whitehouse (1979), Available Space (1979), Changing the Shape of Film, Moving Projector, and Balloon Projection (all 2009).
An Evening with Ming Wong
Already celebrated in Europe and Australia, and having won a rare Special Mention for his installation for the Singapore Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale, multimedia artist Ming Wong (b. 1971)—who lives and works in both Berlin and his native Singapore—deserves to be better known in the U.S. His moving-image pieces, commissioned posters, and installations of collected documentation confront notions of national, racial, linguistic, and gender identity. Ming’s work also references both Malay cinema and the films of Hollywood and the Western avant-garde; he directs himself in engaging homemade versions of classic scenes from the films of Douglas Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Luchino Visconti, bringing to light surprising cross-cultural currents and obliquely referencing Singapore’s complex history and diverse population.
An Evening with John Gerrard
Irish-born, Dublin-based media artist John Gerrard presents his recent work in real-time 3-D. His digital landscapes are recognizable—pig farm, oil derrick, grain silo, and dust storm. Meanwhile the processes and implications are ambiguous. As day passes into night, actions occur, but a particular moment remains frozen in time. His work lies somewhere between documentary and fiction, consisting of images that are constantly developing and regenerating, but seem eternal. The underlying tension comes from Gerrard’s moral discomfort with humankind’s abuse of the environment. Organized in conjunction with Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) and the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA), the program concludes with a conversation about media conservation featuring the artist, Associate Curator Barbara London, and Media Conservator Glenn Wharton.
An Evening with Hala Alabdalla and Omar Amiralay
Omar Amiralay and Hala Alabdalla present a screening of the documentary Nuron wa Thilal (Light and Shadows, The Last of the Pioneers: Nazih Shahbandar) (1991), which Amiralay codirected with Mohammad Malas and Oussama Mohammad. This portrait of Nazih Shahbandar illuminates his role as a pioneer of Arab cinema production in the 1930s and 1940s. He wrote scripts, built sets, set up a studio fitted with film equipment that was almost entirely of his own fabrication, produced and directed the first Syrian film with sound, and chased his dream of making a 3-D film. This documentary is an ode both to the man and to early Arab cinema, and it provides a fitting prelude to a conversation with two of the most influential and inventive artists of the region during recent decades.
Amiralay was a driving force in the establishment of the Arab Film Institute, a collaborative project uniting young and independent filmmakers in the region that organizes workshops and offers other support. His films have earned a number of awards worldwide, and his cinema has become canon for generations of documentary filmmakers in the Arab world. As the general director of Ramad Films, Amiralay’s France-based production company, Hala Alabdalla has executive-produced many of Amiralay’s films. I Am the One Who Carries Flowers to Her Grave is her directorial debut.
An Evening with Josiah McElheny, Stephen Prina, and Lynne Tillman
Modern Mondays presents a surprising and provocative pairing of recent films—Stephen Prina’s The Way He Always Wanted It II (2008) and the U.S. premiere of Josiah McElheny’s Island Universe (2008)—that share a fascination with mid-century modernist design and the interplay of architecture, music, and the moving image. McElheny’s Island Universe, with an original score by Paul Schütze, is an incandescent and conceptually rigorous consideration of the origins of the universe as embodied in J. & L. Lobmeyr's famed Space Age chandeliers for New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. Prina’s The Way He Always Wanted It II, which belongs to a constellation of works under the same name (photographs, watercolors, a video installation, and an unrealized sound installation from 1979), tracks its way through the domestic interior and snowy exterior of the architect Bruce Goff’s 1947 Ford House in Aurora, Illinois, with a score that Prina arranged and performed from fragments of Goff’s own musical compositions and private correspondence. Following the screening, which will be introduced by MoMA Associate Film Curator Joshua Siegel, McElheny and Prina will take part in an onstage conversation moderated by the novelist and critic Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, A Comedy and the forthcoming short-story collection Someday This Will Be Funny.
An Evening with Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
Filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige perform Aida, sauve-moi (Aida, Save Me). This lecture-performance is inspired by an extraordinary event that took place during the 2006 Beirut premiere of their film A Perfect Day, an event that interrupted that film’s release and resonates strangely with the entirety of their work. Aida, Save Me tells a story that measures the distance between recognition and representation of oneself, and recounts an adventure wherein fiction suddenly takes on the appearance of documentation.
Beirut natives Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are filmmakers, artists, and university teachers. They have directed several feature films, including Around the Pink House (1999) and I Want to See, which was named Best Film of 2008 by the French syndicate of critics. They are also accomplished short-film makers, and their numerous photographic installations and videos, including the Wonder Beirut Project and Lasting Images, have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.
An Evening with Allora & Calzadilla
In conjunction with the exhibition Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla, artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla speak about their work Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano. The discussion will focus on the artists’ interest in the social, political, cultural, and aesthetic implications of sound and music.
An Evening with Cameron Jamie
Cameron Jamie (b. 1969, Los Angeles) presents the New York premiere of his most recent 35mm short film, Massage the History (2007–09). Featuring an original soundtrack by Sonic Youth, the film documents young adults from Alabama who dance themselves into trance states in the privacy of their living rooms. Also presented are three related videos: Kranky Klaus (2002–03), about an ancient Austrian folk tradition involving a sadistic mythical beast and the benevolent St. Nicholas; Spook House (2002–03), which follows Detroit suburbanites acting out primitive urges on Halloween; and BB (1998–2000), in which teenagers stage wrestling matches behind Los Angeles tract houses. An American artist living in Paris, Jamie experiments with and moves freely among moving image and music performance, sculptural installation, drawing, photography, and zine publishing. Following the screening, Jamie will take part in an onstage conversation with Kathy Halbreich, MoMA’s Associate Director.
An Evening with Laurel Nakadate
In conjunction with her first large-scale museum exhibition (at MoMA PS1), Laurel Nakadate joins MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach and Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, in a discussion about her moving-image works.
An Evening with Robert Williams
Juxtapoz magazine founder and self-described “conceptual realist” painter Robert Williams (b. 1943) is regarded as the godfather of the Southern California–based Lowbrow and Pop Surrealist art scenes. He began his career as a commercial artist for Kustom Kulture entrepreneur Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the mid-1960s, and was later a member of the Zap Comix collective that included R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Spain Rodriguez, and Rick Griffin. In the late 1970s he helped organize the Art Boys, a loosely affiliated fraternity of L.A. artists that included Gary Panter, Mike Kelley, Matt Groening, and The Pizz. While he was already a towering figure in the underground comix and music scenes, his work reached a new audience when the painting Appetite for Destruction (1978) was used as the original cover image for the 1987 Guns N’ Roses album of the same name. This opening program in the exhibition “All the Wrong Art”: Juxtapoz Magazine on Film features the East Coast premiere of Mary C Reese’s biographical documentary Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin’.
Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin'
2010. USA. Mary C Reese. 90 min.
An Evening with David Choe
Born in 1976 and raised in Los Angeles, David Choe began his career as a school drop-out and wandering graffiti artist. In the 14 years since he self-published the graphic novel Slow Jams (1996), Choe has created a kinetic body of work as an illustrator, muralist, painter, collagist and sculptor. His potent figurative work, inspired by body art, pornography, religion, and indigenous cultures, has been described as “compellingly repulsive.”
In this closing program of the exhibition “All the Wrong Art”: Juxtapoz Magazine on Film, filmmaker Harry Kim presents his documentary Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe (2008). Filmed over a 10-year period, it recounts Choe’s misadventures in the Congo and Japan and charts his creative activity from the mean streets of L.A. to the executive offices of Facebook. The screening is followed by a conversation between Choe, director Harry Kim, and New York artist Ron English.
An Evening with Nao Bustamante: Melted, Plotting Out a Cross-Genre Narrative
Bustamante presents some of her many performance and video works, featuring personae ranging from vulnerable anti-heroines to dominant, sturdy protectors. The artist’s appearance on Bravo’s recent reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist led to her creation of Tierra y Libertad – Kevlar® 2945 (2011), a typical Edwardian garment worn by the women that fought in the early part of the Mexican Revolution, reproduced in Kevlar®, a fabric of the 21st century, and then tested on a ballistic range. Other works to be excerpted are Silver & Gold (2009), her ‘filmformance’ evoking legendary filmmaker Jack Smith; Find Yourself Through Me (2005), a digital portrait involving audience members; and America, the Beautiful (1995), on the blond sex-kitten archetype.
An Evening with Stuart Brisley
Stuart Brisley (Great Britain, b. 1933) has been at the forefront of experimentation and political debate within the visual arts for more than 50 years, and his work has been highly influential in shaping the artistic practice of subsequent generations of British artists. Utilizing diverse media such as video, sound, installation, and literature, Brisley creates performances and “actions” that challenge the physical, psychological, and emotional limits of the human body. Since the 1960s, he has used performance to craft a different, more democratic relationship between artist and audience. Please note: This program may contain explicit material.
An Evening with Mariam Ghani
Brooklyn-based Mariam Ghani (b. 1978) investigates cities in the process of reinventing themselves. She experiments with the nature of archiving and screen- and Web-based presentation, capturing moments of profound transformation. Her preoccupation with the translation of ideas across cultural and generational borders was shaped during her childhood in a household where American, Arabic, and Afghan cultures met. Ghani’s recent exhibitions include the Sharjah and Liverpool biennials. This program is presented as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week 2011. For the full ACAW schedule, visit acaw.net.
An Evening with Matthew Hale
Matthew Hale is a British-born collage, sculpture, and installation artist who lives and works in Berlin. Hale presents the North American premiere of Die Münze, a recent three-channel slide projection with soundtrack, found and original photographs, magazine and newspaper cutouts, and a narration by former left-wing terrorist Astrid Poll. The project presents a compellingly oblique melodrama of modern German history. This screening is presented with the help of Hale’s Berlin gallery, Wentrup.
An Evening with Ken Jacobs
In conjunction with Abstract Expressionism and Film, experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs discusses the influence of Abstract Expressionism on his filmmaking career. Jacobs started making films in 1955, and studied abstract expressionist painting under Hans Hofmann from 1956 to 1957. Jacobs’s ideas for an Abstract Expressionist cinema are evident in films like Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (1969) and his use of a unique “double-analysis” projector setup.
An Evening with Laurence Gavron
Laurence Gavron (b. 1955) is a French filmmaker, photographer, and novelist who lives in Dakar and became a Senegalese national in 2008. Over the last 30 years, she has completed several notable documentary films about the extraordinary life, music, architecture, and religion of Senegal. She will introduce two of these films.
Yandé Codou Sene, Diva Séeréer
2008. Senegal. Laurence Gavron. 64 min.
Saudade à Dakar
2005. Senegal. Laurence Gavron. 48 min.
Modern Mondays: Stories Untold
Followed by a conversation between the tour curators and artists from the Bay Area and New York about differences in style, support, and filmmaking environment on the two coasts.
The Bed. 1968. USA. Directed by James Broughton. 19 min.
Visit to Indiana. 1970. USA. Directed by Curt McDowell. 10 min.
I, an Actress. 1977. USA. Directed by George Kuchar. 10 min.
Easy Living. 1984. USA. Directed by Chip Lord, Mickey McGowan. 19 min.
Peggy and Fred in Hell: The Prologue. 1984. USA. Directed by Leslie Thornton. 21 min.
Futility. 1989. USA. Directed by Greta Snider. 9 min.
Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron). 1991. USA. Directed by Cauleen Smith. 5 min.
An Evening with Karen Finley
In conjunction with the gallery exhibition Looking at Music 3.0, the interdisciplinary artist Karen Finley discusses how the worlds of music, art, and language have intersected in her practice. Finley honed her theatrical work on downtown Manhattan’s “alternative” stages in the early 1980s, channeling the rage and sense of mourning caused by the AIDS crisis, violence against women, war, and censorship into personal expression. Her visual art, often taking the form of large-scale installations, encourages viewer participation by utilizing aspects of memento mori, theatrical staging, and tableau. Her recent work has embraced sentimentality and humor, while maintaining a definitive political point of view. Finley will read from her latest book, The Reality Shows, and discuss her song "Tales of Taboo," which is included in the Looking at Music 3.0 gallery exhibition.
An Evening with Steve Paxton
When experimental dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton (American, b. 1939) developed Contact Improvisation in 1972, he indelibly transformed the vocabulary of dance. His movement technique—influenced by his studies in the martial arts and based on ideas of improvisation, gravity, and momentum between two bodies—has significantly influenced contemporary approaches to dance and physical movement. Paxton, who still actively teaches and writes, is widely regarded today as one of the most influential choreographers of his generation.
An Evening with Harun Farocki
In conjunction with the exhibition Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance), the artist’s first solo exhibition at a U.S. museum, Farocki presents a talk and screening. Farocki emerged as a filmmaker in Berlin during the international student protest movement, and over the past four decades he has transitioned from “guerrilla cinema” to essay films to video installations. Farocki’s practice is largely defined by an experimental documentary format integrating his own material with footage appropriated from various sources, including mass media, surveillance, and political propaganda. In analyzing the production and consumption of images, Farocki’s works confront relationships between technology, politics, and violence. Program 90 min.
An Evening With Mohamed Soueid
In conjunction with Mapping Subjectivity, Part II, Mohamed Soueid (b. Lebanon, 1959) presents his performance/slide lecture Written in the Dust. A pioneer of Lebanese independent and experimental video production, Soueid began his career writing film criticism in the 1970s. He worked as assistant director to a number of filmmakers before directing his first film, Absence (1990), which is believed to be the first independent video production in Lebanon. Two of his subsequent features, Tango of Yearning (1998) and My Heart Beats Only for Her (2009), are also presented as part of the exhibition. Written in the Dust proposes a bold, uncanny coupling of Middle Eastern history—particularly the Lebanese civil war—with the history of cinema. Narrated in the first person and woven with autobiographical elements, the work caustically challenges received canons and conventional paradigms, but beyond the humor is a bold proposal for a radical rewriting of regional and personal history. Program 90 min.
An Evening with Bill Basquin
The work of San Francisco–based filmmaker, photographer, and installation artist Bill Basquin explores the intersection of rural and urban life, with an emphasis on the processes of growing, farming, and composting. Since 1998 he has focused on the practices of farming and animal husbandry from the valleys of Wisconsin to the streets of San Francisco. Basquin will present a selection of works including Deer Census (2008) and one of his most recent films, Horses with Bells in Zugarramurdi, which was shot in the Spanish Pyrenees in late 2010 and appears just as it sounds. Program 90 min.
An Evening with Alejandro Jodorowsky
As a coda to the exhibition of his work that took place at MoMA PS1 earlier this year, Alejandro Jodorowsky (Chilean, b. 1929) introduces his visionary 1973 film The Holy Mountain. Following the screening, which is presented in conjunction with To Save and Project, Jodorowsky will take part in an onstage conversation with Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art; and Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art. The Holy Mountain is a surreal and picaresque satire depicting the journey of a Christ-like figure, the Thief, to a symbolic mountain. Jodorowsky immersed his actors in months of preparatory spiritual and occult exercises, and was also responsible for the costumes and set designs, and for cowriting the musical score. A quintessential cult film, The Holy Mountain famously played for 16 straight months at New York’s Waverly Theater. Special thanks to ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. Program 150 min.
An Evening with Rigoberto Jiménez
Rigoberto Jiménez is a filmmaker working in the Sierra Maestro Mountains of Cuba. His award-winning film portraits capture the dignity and stoicism of the men and women who live and work in these high, remote mountain ranges—revealing their daily hardships and pleasures, as well as the haunting nature of the landscape in which they live. The filmmaker will be present to introduce such short films as The Four Sisters (1997), The Echoes and the Mist (2004), and A Bridge over the River (2009). Jiménez trains aspiring filmmakers in documentary techniques at Television Serrana (TVS), a unique collaborative project, officially recognized by the Cuban Government in 1993, which was initiated by UNESCO, the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, the Cuban Government, and the National Association of Small Farmers. Serrana’s work depends upon the participation and engagement of the people who live in the Sierra Maestro, and today all of the filmmakers at TVS are the children of farmers. Jiménez has also worked on documentary productions outside of Cuba, with indigenous communities in Honduras and Argentina, and he has collaborated with UNICEF on productions about childhood and community work in Cuba. Jiménez currently runs the First Year Program at the International Film and Television School (EICTV) outside of Havana. He graduated with a degree in literature from the Eastern University in Santiago, Cuba, and is a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).
An Evening with Zefrey Throwell
New York–based artist Zefrey Throwell uses film, painting, and performance to convey his vision of modern America and highlight "the failure of communication" in our age. Active in art circles since 2003, Throwell recently came to prominence through his performance/protest piece Ocularpation: Wall Street, which foreshadowed the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, and the subsequent global expansion of the "Occupy" movement. In this stirring call for more transparency on Wall Street, Throwell and 49 collaborators dressed up as employees of various Wall Street businesses, and then stripped off their costumes to reveal their naked bodies. The five-minute performance, staged in August 2011, now comes to MoMA as a short film directed by Throwell that "reveals" the events of that morning. Ocularpation: Wall Street will be screened along with a number of Throwell's other films, including a film of his original statement against "cubicle enslavement," Ocularpation: One – San Francisco.
An Evening with Moyra Davey
Moyra Davey (Canadian, b. 1958), a New York–based photographer, filmmaker, writer, and curator featured in the MoMA exhibition New Photography 2011, presents the New York premiere of her latest moving-image work, Les Goddesses (2011). She writes that "Les Goddesses began as an inquiry into the validity of storytelling, specifically: telling one’s own story, and the ambivalence surrounding this drive. The 'story,' or some part of it, is finally enabled by the discovery of a series of coincidences that connect the lives and writings of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughters, and my five sisters, via a series of portraits I took of them in the early 1980s. Unexpectedly, the vicissitudes of photography, as I’ve practiced it over the last 30 years, become a central theme of Les Goddesses." Davey will also present a short excerpt from Jennifer Montgomery’s work in progress, One Species Removed, which resonates with Les Goddesses in fascinating and moving ways.
Of One Species Removed, Jennifer Montgomery writes, "The subject of this video is both animal empathy (anthropomorphism) and struggles with human mortality. The title reflects a pun, with two supporting sources: 1) that we often transfer our most profound emotions onto other animals, i.e., 'one species removed.' 2) The crackpot but very moving theories of Rudolf Steiner. He believed that each human being is a species unto itself, so that when a human being dies, a species (used interchangeably with the word "soul") dies with it, thereby rendering that individual species extinct. By contrast, animals have a group species and group souls. When one animal dies, the group soul/species replaces that part of itself." Montgomery joins Davey for a discussion after the screening.
An Evening with Juan Daniel F. Molero
Juan Daniel F. Molero presents the New York premiere of his “neurological feature,” Reminiscencias (Reminiscences) (2010), which explores identity, autobiography, and the creation and loss of memory. A young man suffering from amnesia uses 8mm home movies and videos from his cell phone to puzzle out his own history. Is this dramatic process reality, or is it a canny fiction? The screening is followed by a discussion.
An Evening with Ron English
New York–based American artist Ron English (b. 1966, Dallas, TX) has been described as a “pop pervert and prankster.” Infamous for his subversive use of pirated billboards, this seminal figure in street art and the “culture-jamming” movement exploits familiar brand imagery and advertising in photorealist paintings and art actions that critique contemporary consumer culture. Past works include unauthorized murals at the Berlin Wall’s Checkpoint Charlie in 1989 and on the Palestinian separation wall in the West Bank in 2007, and the Abraham Obama project in 2008. This evening includes Pedro Carvajal’s 2005 documentary feature Propaganda: The Art and Crimes of Ron English, and a sampling of English’s recent moving image works, including the “Detroit project” from his ongoing video-posting series. After the screening, English will engage in a discussion with Paper magazine editor Carlo McCormick.
An Evening with Dan Graham
Dan Graham has pioneered Conceptual, performance, and video art since the mid-1960s, producing a profoundly influential body of work and theory that has helped to shape the direction and practice of contemporary art over the past four decades. Beginning in 1965, Graham took a series of color snap-shots in suburban New Jersey and New York, using a Kodak Instamatic fixed focus camera. Referring to Minimalist reduction and seriality, Graham utilized the 35mm slide format as a repeatable “art structure” in and of itself. The resulting slide projection, Homes for America, premiered in the exhibition Projected Art at New York City’s Finch College Museum of Art in 1966. Graham will present and discuss this work, which was acquired and recently restored by MoMA. In addition, Graham will speak about his early “proto-Conceptual” art dealing with magazine pages. With the recent acquisition of The Daled Collection of American and European Conceptual Art, MoMA added a substantial number of Graham’s text pieces and works intended as interventions in magazines.
An Evening with Andrea Fraser
For almost 30 years, Los Angeles–based artist Andrea Fraser has engaged in an ongoing investigation of what we want from art. Combining feminist perspectives on subjectivity and desire with the site-specific and research-based practices that emerged with Conceptualism in the late 1960s, Fraser uses performance, video, and a range of other mediums to explore and critique the motivations that drive artists, collectors, art dealers, corporate sponsors, museum trustees, and museum visitors. For this Modern Mondays event, the artist will present and discuss some videos of her performances and her practice.
An Evening with Tom Kalin and Doveman
The collaboration between musician Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) (American, b. 1981) and filmmaker Tom Kalin (American, b. 1962) began as a series of short films inspired by Doveman’s 2009 album The Conformist. Their ongoing project explores the intersection of recorded and live music, digital composition, and projected film. The pair draw inspiration from themes of broken romance, the truth of small gestures, and transcendentalism in addressing such contemporary issues as displacement and urban isolation. Kalin, a prominent figure in the New Queer Cinema movement, is well known as both a feature filmmaker (Swoon , Savage Grace  and as an experimental filmmaker (Third Known Nest, 1991–99). He was a founding member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury, known for its provocative public art projects. Doveman is a band founded by the 30-year-old Bartlett, who studied piano with Maria Curcio in London before moving to New York City to attend Columbia University. His ongoing live performances, known as The Burgundy Stain Sessions, occur monthly at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge.
An Evening with Allan Sekula
Allan Sekula (b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania) presents his most recent essay film, The Forgotten Space (2010, codirected by Noël Burch), a critique of the global supply chain, its disastrous impact on the environment and workers’ rights, and the standardization of a capitalist world economy. The documentary follows container cargo aboard barges, trains, and trucks, as well as the individuals involved in—and marginalized by—the global transport system. Inspired by Sekula’s book Fish Story (1995), The Forgotten Space seeks to understand contemporary maritime culture in relation to symbolic notions of the sea. A pioneer in the use of documentary photography as both an art form and a historical record, Sekula, a self-described “critical realist,” is regarded as one of the foremost photography theorists of our time. From the onset of his career, he has expanded his practice by introducing photographic works into spatial installations and slide projections. By appearing in several of his own works, Sekula subtly combines the contradictory fields of photojournalism and performance.
An Evening with Phil Collins
In his films, photographs, installations, and live events, Phil Collins explores the nuances of social relations in various locations and global communities. He often subverts the conventions of photojournalism to focus on the inherent contradictions of individual and collective systems of representation. Dissecting the political and aesthetic implications of popular visual formats, Collins’s works indicate that the meaning of a picture—be it still or moving—resides neither in its form nor in its subject-matter, but rather in the transferences it establishes between the producer, the subject, and the viewer. Throughout, Collins maintains a combination of critical consciousness, immediacy, and the recognition of the camera’s ambivalent potential as an agent of both emancipation and exploitation, desire and betrayal. For this Modern Mondays discussion, Collins presents a selection of his works, including how to make a refugee (1999), dunia tak akan mendengar (2007), zašto ne govorim srpski (na srpskom) (2008), use! value! exchange! (2010), and marxism today (prologue) (2010).
An Evening with A. K. Burns and A. L. Steiner
Community Action Center, a recent MoMA acquisition, is a picaresque, exuberant, and explicit filmic account of happily consensual, and often public, sexual encounters among a group of adventurous friends. The filmmakers—A. L. Steiner, an artist known for her photo-collages and her involvement with the band Chicks on Speed and the curatorial group Ridykelous; and A. K. Burns, a multidisciplinary artist and cofounder of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)—have created a non-narrative, transgressive document of a group of friends who act upon, and into, one another. The dialogue-free film features an original musical score as scintillating as its lush and lascivious images.
An Evening with Mark Boulos
In conjunction with his MoMA exhibition Projects 97: Mark Boulos, artist and filmmaker Mark Boulos (b. 1975), will join us to discuss his practice. Boulos’s work explores beliefs that are held with such transcendent fervor that they are capable of transforming one’s perception of the world. Focusing on political and religious conviction, he investigates the processes through which ideas take material form in day-to-day society. Using this approach, Boulos has conducted firsthand research by observing such radical political organizations as the Philippine revolutionary New People’s Army and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Boulos’s experience living with this latter group, who fight the exploitation of the Niger Delta by large oil corporations, is explored in his video installation All That Is Solid Melts into Air (2008), which will be on view in MoMA’s Projects gallery through July 16.
An Evening with Michael Snow
The legendary film/media-maker, visual artist, musician, and unconventional storyteller Michael Snow (Canadian, b. 1928) views his own work in terms of longstanding themes—transparency, temporal abstraction, formation through layering, discontinuity, framing, and the active role of the perceiver. Snow joins us to discuss two of his slide installations that were recently acquired by the Museum. In Slidelength (1969–71), hands holding rectangular sheets of colored plastic, canted and tilted at angles, create geometric and prismatic patterns that recall electrified variations of color and texture. Sink (1970) articulates how any physical subject (in this case, the paint-splattered slop sink in Snow’s studio) is “reduced” to patterns of light when projected. Program 90 min.
An Evening with My Barbarian
The Los Angeles–based performance collective My Barbarian—Malik Gaines (b. Visalia, California, 1973), Jade Gordon (b. Santa Rosa, California, 1975), and Alexandro Segade (b. San Diego, California, 1973)—combine their eclectic background in theater, theory, and contemporary art to create incisive, campy, site-specific plays, concerts, theatrical situations, and video installations. All three group members will be present to discuss their most recent works. Presented in conjunction with the Words in the World performance program. Program 90 min.
An Evening with Adam Pendleton and Lorraine O’Grady
Over the past half decade Adam Pendleton (b. Richmond, Virginia, 1984) has created language-based silkscreens, videos, and performances that critically investigate issues of identity, queerness, and power structures, using appropriated images, texts, and cultural clichés from a broad range of sources to re-imagine political and social realities. In his series Black Dada (2008–ongoing) and System of Display (2008–ongoing), he “associates” the figures of poets and Conceptual artists while repeatedly staging dialogues between 20th-century avant-gardes and the history of black politics. Lorraine O’Grady (American, b. 1934) is an artist and critic whose installations, performances, and texts address issues of diaspora, hybridity, and black female subjectivity. O’Grady first rose to prominence with her guerilla performances as Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire (1980–83), in which she invaded art openings dressed in debutante white, giving away flowers, beating herself with a whip, and shouting out verses that highlighted the segregated nature of the art world. Pendleton presents a live “portrait” of O'Grady through a scripted conversation that upends normative uses of language and the re-presentation of O’Grady’s work.
An Evening with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne
In conjunction with their installation 9 Scripts from a Nation at War—a recent MoMA acquisition that is currently on view in the Media Gallery—the artists Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne join us to discuss the work and their collaborative practice. Program 90 min.
An Evening with Tracey Moffatt
In conjunction with her current film retrospective, filmmaker, video artist, and photographer Tracey Moffatt (Australian, b. 1960) discusses her work. Principally derived from her interest in “staged” cinema, Moffatt’s films and videos draw upon popular culture and her personal background and examine the artificial and the confrontational through subjects such as Aboriginal subjugation, maternal domination, gender stereotypes, and class division. The discussion will focus on her formal and stylistic experimentations with cinema and her use of found footage to re-imagine the silent film.
An Evening with Renée Green
In her films, essays, installations, digital media works, architecture, sound-related works, and events, Renée Green (b. 1959) investigates transcultural systems of relation and exchange, as well as the ways in which viewers read and extract meaning from combined systems while moving through space. Green, who was commissioned to create the MoMA Media Lounge, presenting the Museum’s extensive collection of video- and audio-based works, joins us for a discussion about the project. Program approx. 90 min.
An Evening with Sandow Birk
Los Angeles–based artist Sandow Birk (American, b. 1962) was educated at L.A.’s Otis College of Art and Design, and his gallery exhibitions, publications, and moving image works focus on serious social and political issues from a satiric, uniquely Southern Californian perspective. His films include the cutout animation feature Dante’s Inferno (2007) and the mockumentary In Smog and Thunder: The Great War of the Californias (2003), which were created in collaboration with performance artist Paul Zaloom and director Sean Meredith. This evening includes a screening of his film Dante’s Inferno and an excerpt from In Smog and Thunder, presented by the artist in conversation with Zaloom and Meredith. Program approx. 100 min.
An Evening with Kader Attia
Kader Attia (French, b. 1970) studied both philosophy and fine art in Paris and attended Barcelona’s School of Applied Arts and Crafts. A childhood spent moving between France and Algeria has had a profound impact on his work, which examines identity conflicts and the complex relations between East and West. In his two-channel slide projection Open Your Eyes (2010), on view in the exhibition Performing Histories (1), the artist tackles the evolution of Modern Western aesthetics through the issue of repair to the human body, and compares it with notions of repair in the traditional non-Occidental world. Attia discusses his MoMA installation and his continuing research and artistic practice. 90 min.
An Evening with Dorit Margreiter
Dorit Margreiter (Austrian, b. 1967) has developed an artistic practice that examines how art, architecture, design, film, electronic media, and performance correspond and relate to one another. Her widely renowned installation zentrum (2004–11)— currently on view in the exhibition Performing Histories (1)—unfolds over a period of time in various mediums, including a 16mm film installation, typography, and posters. The work revisits modernity’s relationship with the moving image and design. For this evening, Margreiter discusses the context and evolution of zentrum, which was recently acquired by MoMA. 90 min.
An Evening with Wael Shawky
Wael Shawky’s (Egyptian, b. 1971) multidisciplinary practice explores, in novel and pertinent ways, transitional events in the politics, culture, and religion of the Arab World. Following a screening of his video Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo (2012)—the second of four planned installments inspired by Lebanese author Amin Maalouf’s seminal 1983 book The Crusades through Arab Eyes—the artist joins us to discuss the project. In this installment, which covers the 46 years from the end of the First Crusade, in 1099, to the beginning of the Second Crusade, in 1147, a cast of marionettes, representing actual historical figures, enacts Shawky’s highly original approach to staging and filming history. Structured in acts, the work translates historical documents and facts into musical numbers and Grand Guignol performances, creating a surreal, mythical atmosphere. This perplexing, evocative story blends drama and irony to highlight how these remote historical events cou ld hardly be more topical today.
An Evening with Martha Rosler
For her first solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, multimedia and performance artist Martha Rosler presents her work Meta-Monumental Garage Sale, a large-scale version of the classic American garage sale, in which second-hand goods and castoffs are organized, displayed, and sold by the artist in MoMA’s Marron Atrium. For this evening, the artist joins curator Sabine Breitwieser in a discussion about the context and development of this work, which premiered as Monumental Garage Sale in the art gallery of the University of California, San Diego, in 1973. The Monumental Garage Sale will be discussed along with additional, recently acquired works by the artist, such as the photo-and-audio installation She Sees in Herself a New Woman Every Day (1976), on view in MoMA’s Media Gallery as part of the exhibition Performing Histories (1).
An Evening with Lillian Schwartz
New York–based artist Lillian Schwartz (b. 1927) became a pioneer of computer-generated art in the late 1960s while a resident at Bell Laboratories, where she continued working as an artist, filmmaker, and art historian for over three decades. She was among the first American artists to employ computer language to create motion-graphics-based film and video art. Schwartz joins us to introduce a selection of her technically complex, finely executed investigations into visual perception. The program includes 2-D/3-D films from the 1970s to the present, such as Pixillation (1970), UFOs (1971), Enigma (1973), Olympiad (1973), and the newly released Before, Before (2012). Program approx. 90 min.
An Evening with Laura Parnes
Brooklyn-based artist Laura Parnes blurs the lines between narrative film and video art, storytelling conventions and experimentation. This evening’s program centers on her recent cross-platform digital film County Down (2012), in which an epidemic of psychosis among the adults in a gated community coincides with a teenage girl’s invention of a designer drug. Mirroring rave culture and the unbridled optimism surrounding technology during the 1990s, County Down presents a society so obsessed with novelty and consumerism that it euphorically embraces its own destruction. Program approx. 90 min.
An Evening with Charles Atlas
New York–based media artist Charles Atlas (American, b. 1949) discusses his creative development, the intertwining of social scenes and art, and his preoccupation with process. Since the early 1970s, Atlas has collaborated with artists, musicians, and dancers—Merce Cunningham, Antony and the Johnsons, Michael Clark, and Mika Tajima, to name just a few—to create films, video installations, and live events that explore “in-between states of identity.” He discusses his recent work, including Joints Array (2011), Ocean (2011), and, most recently, 143652 (2012), in which numbers move across a wall-sized projection as if in a digital ballet.
An Evening with the Otolith Group
Founding Otolith Group members Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun discuss their newest work.
2012. Great Britain. The Otolith Group. 64 min.
An Evening with Deimantas Narkevicius
Originally trained as a sculptor, Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevicius (b. 1964) mainly works in film and video to explore history with a contemporary, subjective point of view. The Department of Media and Performance Art recently acquired Narkevicius’s seminal work Once in the XX Century (2004), which is currently on view in the exhibition Performing Histories (1). Once in the XX Century is based on video documentation of the removal of a monumental public sculpture of Lenin in Lithuania in 1991. The artist acquired footage from the Lithuanian National TV archive and from a freelance video reporter in order to have a two-camera perspective on the event. By creating a filmic historical reversal, Narkevicius ironically points to the repetition of scenes in history, with regard to the longing for or denial of certain political and economic systems. For this event, the artist presents his films from the 1990s, along with his most recent works.
An Evening with Emmanuelle Demoris
In conjunction with the exhibition of her five-film Mafrouza cycle, Emmanuelle Demoris joins us to screen additional scenes that didn’t appear in the films, and to discuss her experience during two years living and filming in Mafrouza. Beginning with her first meetings with the neighborhood’s residents, Demoris recounts her method for capturing their stories and discovering each film’s particular narrative arc—a wedding, a flood, women’s dreams and aspirations, birth, and religious differences. Remarkable in its open-ended inclusiveness, Demoris’s Mafrouza project allowed for a particularly intimate view of everyday life in the neighborhood, not only recording but sharing residents’ lives without any preconceived interpretation. Demoris has created a complex, compassionate portrait of remarkable individuals and their extraordinary lives. The presentation concludes with a conversation between Demoris and Aaron Cutler, critic and Programming Aide, São Paulo International Film Festival.
An Evening with Xavier Dolan
Since his 2009 feature debut, J’ai tué ma mere, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, Xavier Dolan (Canadian, b. 1989) has been acclaimed as the wunderkind of Canadian cinema. Dolan’s films investigate the grit and passion of contemporary relationships against the backdrop of urban life, often in Dolan’s hometown of Montreal. In conjunction with Canadian Front 2013, Dolan joins Rajendra Roy and Indiewire's Peter Knegt to discuss past work and filmic inspirations, and to present an excerpt from his current project, Tom à la ferme.
An Evening with David Lamelas
Born in 1946 in Buenos Aires, David Lamelas has been a key figure of the Conceptual art avant-garde since the 1960s. His early structuralist films and media installations of the 1960s and 1970s are particularly important in their innovative treatment of time and space, and his work has been highly influential upon a later generation of artists. Lamelas represented Argentina at the 9th Sao Paulo Biennial In 1967 and at the 36th Venice Biennale in 1968 with the seminal work Office of Information about the Vietnam War on Three Levels: The Visual Image, Text and Audio, which was recently acquired by the Department of Media and Performance Art. For this evening, Lamelas will discuss the piece and his oeuvre as a whole.
An Evening with Jean-Gabriel Périot
Over the past 15 years Jean-Gabriel Périot (French, b. 1974) has perfected an innovative filmmaking approach by focusing on archival editing. Moving image and photographic archives make up the raw material of his short films, which are edited to create impressionistic narratives, typically aided by compelling soundtracks. Périot’s work, which is distinguished by an intense, emotional approach to contemporary and historic political themes, has been honored with several prizes and has been exhibited worldwide. For this event, his first U.S. appearance, Périot presents approximately 10 of his short films, many of which are New York premieres.
An Evening with Charles Simonds
Since the beginning of the 1970s, New York–based artist Charles Simonds (American, b. 1945) has developed a unique practice at the intersection of sculpture, performance, street art, activism, and utopian city planning. Addressing the condition of being human through its fundamental relation to Earth and the built environment, Simonds’s work is an inquiry into building as a way of thinking and architecture as an indicator of who we are. As a young man, Simonds built miniature "dwellings" in gutters and crevasses of buildings in Manhattan’s Lower East Side—habitats for the Little People, an imaginary population whose history, sociology, and beliefs Simonds documented in films and writing. In addition to footage of these dwellings, films of rituals enacted by the artist, at the core of the artist’s mythology, will be screened, followed by a presentation by Simonds of his practice at large.
Afterwards, Simonds will be joined by Christopher Lyon, writer and executive editor at The Monacelli Press, and Stephanie Weber, Curatorial Assistant in MoMA's Department of Media and Performance Art, for an onstage conversation.
An Evening with Carolee Schneemann
Originally a painter, Carolee Schneemann is a pioneer of extended media, from her choreography for the Judson Dance Theater (1962–63) to the sensuous group ritual performance Meat Joy (1964), her self-shot erotic film Fuses (1965), and the anti–Vietman War “kinetic theater” of Snows (1965). Schneemann joins us to discuss these works and her more recent multichannel video installations in relation to MoMA’s recent acquisition of a 1976 version of Up To and Including Her Limits. This work of extended drawing was enacted as Schneemann was suspended nude in a tree surgeon’s harness for over eight hours. Sustained drawings occurred for over six years in various spaces, including The Kitchen in New York, the Berkeley Art Museum, and various locations in Europe.
An Evening with Saul Levine
For nearly 50 years, Saul Levine (American, b. 1943) has made experimental films that are distinguished by their machine-gun rhythms, political urgencies, and moments of cloistered, even blissful, family settings. Levine’s is a cinema of violent juxtaposition—Charlie Chaplin hotly pursued and Walter Cronkite intoning the grim news of the day; Vietnam War paratroopers and B.B. King playing the blues; street protests, police roundups, and workers on the dole.
Tracing a vital aspect of Levine’s work across four decades—what P. Adams Sitney has identified as “his incessant, chaotic outpouring of political energy” —this special co-presentation of Modern Mondays and To Save and Project: The 10th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation features the New York premiere of Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: This May Be the Last Time (2011), Levine’s meditation on the play of winter light on Boston’s Charles River; and luminous 8mm, Super-8, and 16mm prints of The Big Stick/An Old Reel (1967–73), Notes of an Early Fall (1976), Unemployment Portrayal Note (1980), and Notes after Long Silence (1984–89) that have been beautifully preserved by Bill Brand/BB Optics, with partial funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Inspired by jazz improvisation, Jewish mysticism, visual punning, and poetic meter, as well as the films of Stan Brakhage and Sergei Eisenstein, Levine’s editing ricochets between shock montage and more tender, abstract passages. Through his use of repetition, superimposition, and fragmentation; accidents of exposure, and raw, jagged splicing, Levine creates jarring collisions among television news broadcasts, slapstick comedies, lyrical contemplations of the natural world, and intimate scenes of domesticity and eroticism. Program approx. 80 min.
An Evening with Kerry Tribe
Kerry Tribe (American, b. 1973) uses the formal mechanics of the moving image to explore the instability of recall and the subjective nature of perception. This evening culminates in a live performance of Tribe’s Critical Mass, based on the 1971 Hollis Frampton film of the same name. In Frampton’s film, an improvised argument between a young man and woman is captured, copied, cut up, and reassembled to produce a frenetically edited, highly structural, distanced yet evocative work. Tribe’s piece reenacts Frampton’s film cut-by-cut with two live actors, inverting the role of film as performance document while exploring the historical specificity of language and gender. The performance has undergone a series of evolutions since it was first staged at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010; this will be the New York premiere of the new iteration, with actors Emelie O’Hara and Nick Huff.
An Evening with J. P. Sniadecki
2013. China/USA. Huang Xiang, Xu Ruotao, J. P. Sniadecki. 65 min.
The One Minute Film Festival
From 2003 through 2012, in a “barn cinema” in bucolic upstate New York, the artist-curator duo Jason Simon and Moyra Davey hosted The One Minute Film Festival, inviting fellow artists, musicians, writers, and moviemakers of all stripes to contribute a short film of their own devising. The festival became a cherished ritual: friends would religiously mark their calendars for the first Saturday after the Fourth of July, reuniting for martinis, gumbo, and dancing, a sundown screening of their cinebursts of creativity, then ever more spirited drinking and dancing well into the night.
The films presented in this screening—by artists as far ranging as Peggy Ahwesh, Mark Dion, Chris Marker, and Josiah McElheny—are a joyful sampling of the hundreds that were screened during the festival’s decade-long run. They capture the breathless ricochet of emotions—tenderness, silliness, outrage, and exuberance—that could be experienced from one moving-image minute to the next. “Ten years of multiple worlds of one-minute wisdom” is how the artist Andrea Geyer has described the enterprise. “Starring: Wasps in honey, cityscapes, trash, the president, local papers, dust, war, old movies, love, naked butts on tractors, news, records spinning, children spinning, dogs flying, banners flying, road movies, love songs, frustrations, montages…”. A more comprehensive survey of The One Minute Film Festival, featuring projections and movie posters, is on view at MASS MoCA through January 2014.
An Evening With Christine Sun Kim
Christine Sun Kim, a sound and performance artist based in New York, joins us to discuss how she came to use sound as a medium of artistic and communicative expression. Sun Kim expounds on her Score and Transcripts drawings series, which is currently featured in Soundings: A Contemporary Score, and she discusses how she combines elements of graphic notation, musical notation, American Sign Language Glossing, American Sign Language (ASL), and other formats in an attempt to expand what each system is able to communicate, and to invent a grammar and structure for her compositions.
An Evening with Boris Charmatz, Simone Forti, and Ralph Lemon
Three of the most renowned voices in contemporary dance, Boris Charmatz, Simone Forti, and Ralph Lemon, come together for the first time in a conversation about museum practices of presenting, collecting, and conserving performance-based art, and what we can learn from the legacy of dance. The artists address their distinct and seemingly parallel concerns through a presentation of films, focusing on the question of the value of ephemerality, the memory of the dance, and the experience of inhabiting art spaces. This is the first event organized in conjunction with Lemon’s Research Residency and Charmatz’s Musée de la danse project in MoMA’s Marron Atrium, which features Forti, among other artists.
Modern Mondays: Bruce Conner’s Crossroads: A Premiere Screening and Conversation
Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was a West Coast sculptor, painter, photographer, and collagist who began creating film assemblages in the late 1950s, transforming the detritus of Pop culture, newsreel and television footage, B-movie clips, and raw film stock into deeply personal and influential art. He is generally recognized as one of the leaders of New American Cinema of the 1960s, and his early films, with their fast-paced editing, paved the way for the music video. This special co-presentation of Modern Mondays and To Save and Project features the New York premiere of UCLA Film & Television Archive’s new preservation/reconstruction of Crossroads (1976), a landmark of American cinema. Conner found a cataclysmic beauty in National Archives footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test, conducted on Bikini Atoll on July 25, 1946. He combined 23 shots of the same explosion—at differing speeds and distances, from air, sea, and land—with a complex, mesmerizing dual score by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley to make of the destruction a kind of Cubist cosmic sublime.
On October 28, Ross Lipman, Senior Film Restorationist, UCLA Film & Television Archive, presents a lecture about the making of Crossroads and its restoration, followed by a conversation with composer Patrick Gleeson; Michelle Silva, director of the Conner Family Trust; and scholar Bruce Jenkins. The film has been preserved in 35mm, digitally remastered, and reconstructed in a multitiered strategy coordinated by the Conner Family Trust, the Michael Kohn Gallery, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The restoration of Crossroads both on celluloid and in digital formats perfectly encapsulates, and provokes, the sort of philosophical, technological, and aesthetic questions about photochemical and digital restoration that MoMA’s preservation festival hopes to address this year. On October 28 at 5:15 p.m., we present a new 35mm photochemical print of Conner’s original 1976 cut. We compare this at 7:00 p.m. with a 5.1 3K digital reconstruction of Bruce Conner's 2003 remastered version, followed by Lipman’s lecture and the conversation.
Modern Mondays: Crossroads
1976/2013. USA. Bruce Conner. 36 min.
2010. USA. 50 min.
An Evening with OpenEndedGroup: Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser
The three artists who comprise OpenEndedGroup join us to screen and discuss their pioneering works of experimental 3-D film. In a wide-ranging program featuring recent and new films, the artists present their advances in two broad areas. In dance, they conjure up the presence of longtime collaborator Merce Cunningham through the cat’s-cradle movement of his motion-captured hands; in evocations of place, they transform a stretch of rural Iowa highway into a flickering film universe; haunt the galleries, corridors, and stairways of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and track the city of Detroit through its fractured industrial ruins and the circular patterns of its outdated modernity. Screenings include Loops (2001–11); plant (2011); All Sides of the Road (2012); and All Day, Knight’s Rest, and Circling Detroit (all 2013).
An Evening with Christoph Hochhäusler and Benjamin Heisenberg
In conjunction with Berlin School: Films from the Berliner Schule, filmmakers Christoph Hochhäusler and Benjamin Heisenberg talk about their influences, their work, and the difficulty of grouping a loose association of contemporary German auteurs under the rubric of the “Berlin School.” Though varied in their preoccupations and strategies, the Berlin School filmmakers tend to be united by an interest in writing and criticism; Hochhäusler and Heisenberg discuss the publication Revolver, of which they are co-editors, and its role as a hub for conversation, discovery, and debate.
Millennium Film Journal
Millennium Film Journal (MFJ), one of the oldest continuously published journals of artists’ moving image works, is celebrating 35 years of publication with a special oversized issue. Since its inception in the 1970s, MFJ has documented the multiple transformations of “the cinematic” in the hands of artists. The publication’s sole commitment is to the cinema as an art form rather than a product. Film and media scholar Erica Levin will present a selection of film and video works discussed in her essay “Toward a Social Cinema Revisited,” and MFJ senior editor Grahame Weinbren and co-editor Kenneth White join us to discuss how everything from films and video installations to YouTube have inspired essays in MFJ.
An Evening with Tom Thayer
New Jersey–based artist Tom Thayer (b. 1970) operates at the intersection of the hand-crafted and the technological, exploring the phenomenological shifts that occur when a three-dimensional object, such as a collage or sculpture, is represented in another medium—primarily the moving image. As teenagers in Chicago, Thayer and his siblings shot short videos, resulting in hours of footage that the artist continues to use today in elaborate live performances, during which he animates, physically and virtually, objects of his own making. Realized with strikingly simple means—a bent piece of wood and a wire serve as an instrument, a bird puppet turns into a record player—his performances affirm the magic of a combination of poor materials and rich imagination. Thayer joins us to discuss his practice and premiere a new live performance in collaboration with Keith Connolly (No-Neck Blues Band) and John Jines. Following the performance Thayer, Connolly, Jines, and Stephanie Weber, Curatorial Assistant in MoMA's Department of Media and Performance Art, will engage in an onstage discussion.
An Evening with Isaac Julien
Isaac Julien is joined by Giuliana Bruno, Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University and author of the upcoming book Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media, for a discussion of Julien's prolific and diverse moving-image work, and its active migration from cinema screen to gallery installation in such recent works as Vagabondia (2000) and Baltimore (2003), both of which take as their subject the space of the museum; the immersive video installation Ten Thousand Waves, on view in the Museum’s atrium through February 17; and his most recent installation, the seven-screen PLAYTIME.
An Evening with Sharon Hayes
Sharon Hayes and Brooke O’Harra discuss Hayes’s recent video installation Ricerche: three, which premiered at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Hayes uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s brilliant 1963 cinéma vérité film Comizi d’amore as the guidepost for a contemporary inquiry into the “sexual problem” in the United States in 2013. While the political climate in postwar Italy in 1963 is certainly distinct from that of the United States in 2013, both exemplify a persistent political condition in which so-called value-based policy and ideology act out symptomatically to cover up underlying economic and political vulnerabilities.
Ricerche: three expands on Pasolini's interest in interviewing subjects as part of a collective or crowd by focusing on a single interview with 35 students at Mt. Holyoke College, an all-women’s college in western Massachusetts. Brooke O’Harra, the director of Ricerche: three, was a Visiting Professor at Mt. Holyoke College for five years, teaching acting and directing, and was the first interlocutor with the students. Thus, the relationship of interviewee to interviewer involves, significantly, O’Harra’s primary relationship with the students. Hayes and O'Harra join us to screen the full work and address its relationship to Pasolini’s film and to histories of queer and feminist activism.
An Evening with Beth B and the Stars of Exposed
Live performances by avant-garde artists Julie Atlas Muz, Mat Fraser, and Dirty Martini set the stage for MoMA’s presentation of pioneering “No Wave” director Beth B’s latest documentary, Exposed (2013), which celebrates the provocative blend of gender politics and sexual showmanship that characterizes New York City’s alternative burlesque movement. Determined to shatter the comfortable voyeurism of traditional nude display, Bunny Love, Rose Wood, World Famous *BOB*, Tigger!, James Habacker, and Bambi the Mermaid join Atlas Muz, Fraser, and Dirty Martini on screen in an uncensored mash-up of colorful, satiric performance footage and behind-the-scenes interviews. Beth B’s enduring interest in the ways individuals face social constraint finds new expression in the spectacle of performers committed to the liberation of body and mind, struggling for “human rights for women, the disabled, transgender, queer, the disaffected, [and] the outcast.” The screening is followed by a Q&A with the director, coproducer Sandra Schulberg, composer Jim Coleman, and the full cast.
An Evening with Shana Moulton
Through her performances, videos, and multidimensional installations, Shana Moulton (American, b. 1976) creates worlds at the threshold of absurdity and truth, catharsis and cliché, the material and the spiritual. The artist positions herself in the role of an individual moving with worry and wonderment through environments designed from autobiographical experiences, subconscious associations, and fantasy. Ascribing healing properties to the banal trappings of everyday life, Moulton’s works elicit a potent empathy on the part of the viewer that allows for these narratives to continue beyond the immediate experience of an artwork. For this evening, a presentation of recent works will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.
An Evening with Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro
Born in 1975 in Meira, Spain, Enciso Cachafeiro is part of a new generation of trailblazing Spanish filmmakers. Cachafeiro joins us to present Arraianos (2012), his second feature-length film. Reality, myth, and dream merge in the film, which is set in a small village on the Galicia (Spain)-Portugal border and captures the daily life of the Arraianos—actors playing their own lives. Inspired by the existential play O Bosque (The Forest) by the Galician Jenaro Marinhas del Valle, the film’s arresting images are also shaped by the filmmaker’s childhood on the family farm. Arraianos, a film about time, memory, and the musicality of spoken language, captures both the moods stirred by the atmosphere of place and the feelings and experiences of the filmmaker’s grandparent’s generation in the face of the global explosion in technology, migration, and more. Special thanks to Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Film Study Center, Harvard and Harvard Film Archive. Print courtesy CineBinario Films
An Evening with Patty Chang and David Kelley
Patty Chang and David Kelley join us to discuss their collaborative video work Flotsam Jetsam (2007)—which is currently on view at MoMA—and a selection of other projects. While the pair work across a wide range of mediums and disciplines, from sculpture, drawing, and photography to film, performance, and new media, at the core of their collaboration is the intersection of site and the imaginary.
Route 3 (2011) is their recent video about a newly completed highway in rural Laos. Connecting China to Thailand through the former Golden Triangle, the new highway has accelerated Chinese development of Lao agricultural and gambling industries, and the migration of rural Lao minority populations to the growing roadside towns. The video considers the enigmatic changes in the visual landscape through performance and sculpture.
Spiritual Myopia (2014), a new multipart video installation that examines the infrastructure of petro-industry in the oil sands of northern Canada, is described by the artists as bringing together ideas of landscape, real estate, parenting, migration, drone surveillance, and physical touch through a collection of documentary artifacts that index the oil sands geography. The video culls photographs, scans, aerial videos of mines and the boreal forests, and stroboscopic video of new housing developments. Fort McMurray, Alberta, like other boomtowns, is fueled by resource extraction and development, exposing degrees of what the geographer David Harvey has called time-space compression, when culture and land, driven by capital, change at a pace too rapid for conscious reflection.
An Evening with Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz with Gregg Bordowitz and Pauline Oliveros
In 1970, composer Pauline Oliveros read Valerie Solanas’s now infamous SCUM Manifesto, (1967). Inspired by the text, Oliveros composed a score, To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation, which tasked performers to make autonomous choices about pitch, rhythm, and tone, and to simultaneously respond to the dynamics of the group. Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz’s eponymous work, from 2013, consists of a 16mm film installation portraying a performance of Oliveros’s score. Shot in a single continuous take, the camera asserts itself as an additional performer of sorts, zooming and roving unconventionally to offer up new angles on filmic, musical, and performative forms, and their possible interrelation. Boudry and Lorenz will present their film, followed by an onstage discussion with Pauline Oliveros, moderated by Gregg Bordowitz.
Oliveros's sound and video installation Deep Listening Room is currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, where she will perform with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The 2014 Whitney Biennial is co-curated by Stuart Comer, MoMA's Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art.
An Evening with Shaina Anand, Duncan Campbell, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta
For this evening’s Modern Mondays event, Shuddhabrata Sengupta (Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi), Shaina Anand (CAMP, Mumbai) and Scottish moving image artist Duncan Campbell show clips and discuss their artist collectives and/or individual works, covering both material represented in the exhibition and other titles. Raqs Media Collective is known for a "transdisciplinary" methodology, in which artistic research, moving image, and installation collapse into one; Campbell revisits existing documentary material, into which he inserts fictionalized segments; and CAMP works collaboratively with their subjects and repurposes surveillance technologies such as telescopic lenses, CCTV, and leaked audio files from government phone taps. All three positions confront the ongoing debates behind documentary's self-reflexivity, addressing the quintessential questions: "Who speaks and acts, from where, and for whom?” Their unique and at times radical positions within contemporary documentary practice involve complex discourses on representation and the production of reality.
An Evening with C. Spencer Yeh
C. Spencer Yeh (b. 1975, Taipei, Taiwan) works in and in between the realms of composition, experimental music, film, and visual arts, both as a practitioner and a curator of events and artistic collaborations. As a former student of radio/television/film at Northwestern University, Yeh seeks and probes instances in which the sonic (or vocal) and visual (or tangible) intersect in both typical and unexpected ways. An example of the artist's continued analysis of how visual and sonic languages are built are his voice-based performances, for which Yeh creates sounds that complicate the relationships between psycho-physiological and mechanical elements of sound production and perception. At MoMA, Yeh will premiere a new performance and present a selection of film trailers, custom-edited for Spectacle Theater in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, where he volunteers as programmer and trailer editor.
An Evening with Christopher Williams
In conjunction with his retrospective exhibition, Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, the artist joins Stuart Comer, MoMA's Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art, for a discussion of Williams's longstanding engagement with cinema. The conversation will touch upon Williams's Carte Blanche screening series, which features films by Bruce Conner, Tony Conrad, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Harun Farocki, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, Joris Ivens, Peter Kubelka, and Andy Warhol. Williams will also discuss and screen his own Super-8 films, made in 1979 while he was a student at CalArts. The evening will be introduced by Roxana Marcoci, Senior Curator, Department of Photography, and curator of the exhibition at MoMA.
An Evening with James Richards
Recently nominated for the 2014 Turner Prize for his video Rosebud (2013), James Richards (English, b. 1983) is known for his provocative and visually seductive moving-image works. Collaged from a wide range of source material, from intimate home movies, archival footage, and television clips to obscure Internet streams, the artist's work dissolves fixed form through reconfiguration and remix. His installations and improvisational video compositions address the relentless flow of imagery that has defined the 21st century, carving out a space for the exploration of personal politics and new digital materiality. Richards is also an archaeologist of media histories, conducting research and curating projects about obscure practices and obsolete technologies. Two works by Richards, Rosebud and Not Blacking Out, Just Turning the Lights Off (2011), will be on view in the exhibition Cut to Swipe, opening at MoMA on October 11. For this Modern Monday, the artist will present some of his own pieces alongside a selection of videos by artists he continues to champion as key precedents for his own work. The evening will be moderated by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art. Richards will be joined in conversation by London-based writer and editor Chris McCormack.
An Evening with Bill Morrison
For this Modern Mondays discussion, Bill Morrison focuses on his use of archival and found footage, tracing the ideas that surfaced in some of his earliest titles (Footprints , The Film of Her ) and continue in his most recent work (Light Is Calling , All Vows , Beyond Zero: 1914–1918 ). The range and diversity of his manipulation of found footage reveals his profound use of film as a metaphor for reflections on the historical and existential nature of time. Program approx. 90 min.
An Evening with Athina Rachel Tsangari
Athina Rachel Tsangari, director of Attenberg screens clips and talks about her belief in being, as the French say, a cinéaste, with producing, teaching, programming, projecting, writing, directing, and acting all essential to her definition of herself as a filmmaker.
From her early short film Fit to being named projections designer and video director for the Athens Olympic Games, and from acting as founding director of the influential avant-garde short-film showcase Cinematexas to being a founding member of the Haos Films production company, Tsangari’s career refuses easy categorization. As she puts it, “Collapsing borders between the world of animals and humans, combining formalism with emotion, observation with immersion, humor with tragedy, somehow to make these things that don’t seem to belong together fit into the same world, the same frame—that’s important to me.”
Modern Mondays: A Cine Virus Evening with Michael Oblowitz and Sylvère Lotringer
To Save and Project, in a special co-presentation with Modern Mondays, revisits Cine Virus, a film program organized in 1978 by the filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, The Hurt Locker) and Michael Oblowitz to coincide with the publication of Schizo-Culture, a widely influential special issue of the radical journal Semiotext(e). Founded by Sylvère Lotringer and a group of Columbia University graduate students in 1974, Semiotext(e) was known both for introducing American readers to French poststructuralist theory and for bringing disparate elements of New York’s downtown cultural scene together in the late 1970s and 1980s—“making profuse connections via a circuitry that seemed to exist between the cracks,” as Jim Fletcher would observe.
While Schizo-Culture insisted on a violent break with the counterculture of the 1960s, its sister film program offered its own sinister directive: “Everyone wants to be infected/everyone wants to be infectious. Cine Virus programs cinema as a soft-machine of control bringing into proximity different strains of the disease. The virus is the pleasure and contamination: the infection.”
Oblowitz and Lotringer present films from that original Cine Virus program, including Antony Balch’s dizzying William S. Burroughs collage Cut Ups; Bruce Conner’s music video for Devo’s “Mongoloid”; and the MoMA restoration of Bigelow‘s own Set-Up, in which two semioticians—Lotringer and Marshall Blonsky—unpack, through voiceover commentary, seductively shot images of two men engaged in a brutal fight. Author Kate Zambreno reads from the work of the late Kathy Acker, who contributed a live performance to the 1978 event and also wrote for Schizo-Culture. This event is presented in conjunction withThe Return of Schizo-Culture at MoMA PS1, and was organized with Carole Ann Klonarides and Sylvère Lotringer on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Semiotext(e).
Cut Ups. 1967. Great Britain. Directed by Antony Balch. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art. 11 min.
Car Crash/Mass Homicide/Suicide Attack. 1978/2014. USA. Directed by Eric Mitchell. Digital projection. 6 min.
Set-Up. 1978. USA. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation. 17 min.
Circuits of Control/Minus Zero . 1977–79. Directed by Michael Oblowitz. Digital projection. 39 min.
Snake Woman. 1977. USA. Directed by Tina L'Hotsky. Cinematography by Michael Oblowitz. Digital projection. 15 min.
Mongoloid. 1977. USA. Directed by Bruce Conner. Music by Devo. 4 min.
Kathy Acker: Blood and Guts in High School [live reading]. 1978/2014. Live reading by Kate Zambreno. 10 min.
Burroughs on Bowery. 1977. USA. Directed by Marc Olmsted. 5 min.
Program approx. 120 min.
Modern Mondays: An Evening with Ken Okiishi
Ken Okiishi, whose work is represented in the MoMA exhibition Cut to Swipe, screens a selection of his videos and joins Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen, doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Archeology, Princeton University; and Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art, MoMA, for a discussion. From his engagement with figures as diverse as Woody Allen and David Wojnaworicz to his recent series gesture/data (2014), Okiishi has explored the effects of art and technology on memory, perception, and experience. gesture/data is made up of hybrid works that combine the techniques of gestural painting with mash-ups of analog and digital video. Flat-screen monitors presenting recorded electronic memories become a surface for primal mark making, bridging physical action and virtual experience. This event also celebrates the recent release of the publication The Very Quick of the Word: Congestion and Porosity in the Work of Ken Okiishi?, published by Sternberg Press and featuring essays by Annie Godfrey Larmon and Alise Upitis.