A public gallery talk focused on Tomáš Rafa: New Nationalisms and Ian Cheng:Emissaries, presented by curatorial intern Justine Durand De Sanctis. Titled "Between Reality and Fiction: How Tomáš Rafa and Ian Cheng Deal With the Real", the talk explores works by two contemporary artists who are the subject of solo exhibitions currently on view at MoMA PS1.
Using the language of cinéma vérité, artist and activist Tomáš Rafa acts as a witness to the rise of ''nationalisms'' in Europe during recent years, producing films that document both extremist and anti-extremist demonstrations. Ian Cheng develops live animated “simulations” using a video game engine, which depict fictional worlds in which characters evolve in environments according to basic programmed properties. Analyzing the counter-intuitive connections between these two exhibitions, Durand De Sanctis will discuss how concepts of reality, fiction, and virtuality are at work in Rafa’s and Cheng’s divergent practices, exploring the ambiguous and plural definitions of what is understood as “real.”