The Museum of Modern Art
Petra Collins. Not Olympia. 2017. Courtesy of the artist

PopRally presents Petra Collins: In Search of Us, an evening of performance, music, and digital art conceived and developed by Collins with artist and close collaborator Madelyne Beckles. The event comprises a live, three-hour tableau in the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, a “digital salon” hosted on Instagram, a live musical performance by Junglepussy, and a set by DJ Madeline Poole.

Drawing from Lorraine O’Grady’s seminal 1992 essay “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity,” Collins and Beckles will stage a live tableau in celebration of the female form. The performers will confront traditional representations of the female body throughout the art-historical canon, which tended to exclude bodies of work by such historical “others” as women, gender nonconforming individuals, and persons of color. Addressing this history through the lens of the contemporary woman—characterized by autonomy, sexuality, intersectionality, and agency—Collins presents an homage to the odalisque that highlights how women’s bodies have traditionally been both venerated and degraded. In O’Grady’s words, “She is jezebel and mammy, prostitute and female eunuch, the two in one.” Expanding upon the live performance, Collins also invited Beckles, Grace Miceli, and Aleia Murawski to create short videos as part of a “digital salon” on Instagram—in a nod to the 19th-century Salon des Independants—using the platform to re-examine the role of the canon in a contemporary context.

Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Admission includes live tableau performance, musical performance, open bar, and access to MoMA's collection galleries.

You must be 21 or older to attend this event.


PopRally is a series of events at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 that serve as a gateway for young and diverse audiences to engage with MoMA. Led by a cross-departmental committee of Museum staff, PopRally produces dynamic programs including artist collaborations, performances, film screenings, and digital content that encourage new and experimental ways of encountering modern and contemporary art. This summer, join us for MoMA PopRally × New York, a creative journey across New York City. From Staten Island to the Bronx, we’re heading to each of the five boroughs with artist collaborations, performance, music, food, film, and more. MoMA PopRally × New York kicks off in Queens and continues into the summer and fall with events in Staten Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. In October, the series culminates in Manhattan with MoMA’s reopening and an interactive exploration of our new home. You’ll be invited to a first look at the new MoMA, our expanded galleries, and the reimagined display of our collection—as always, PopRally style.

    This performance is part of PopRally.