*Straight Out of Times*, 2016, at MoMA as part of VW Sunday Sessions. © 2016 MoMA PS1, New York. Photo: Charles Roussel


12:00 p.m. – Doors Open
3:00 p.m. – Conversation with Cao Fei and Klaus Biesenbach
4:00 p.m. – Cao Fei and The Notorious MSG, Straight Out of Times

On the occasion of the artist’s first comprehensive museum solo show in the United States, Cao Fei is teams up with The Notorious MSG for a performance, Straight Out of Times.

Prior to the performance, Cao Fei joins Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art, for a conversation surrounding her work and exhibition at MoMA PS1.

The Notorious MSG is a group of performers inspired by a “gangster sensibility” and what they call the “alternative cultural imagination of Chinatown itself.” New York’s Chinatown gives rise to a new social order, entirely different from the social systems in place in many of the “home” countries of Chinatown’s residents. This new order is underground, and provides a safe haven for immigrants and other disenfranchised groups and individuals alike (including, artists) to exist and thrive together. Out of this new camaraderie grows a kind of kinship, and also a resistant power.

In 2006, Cao Fei found The Notorious MSG’s song “Straight out of Canton” on the Internet while she was producing her Hip Hop series, which takes a look at cultural vernacular as enacted by everyday workers and passersby on the street. The song was performed by the three core musicians who comprise the Notorious MSG — performers of Cantonese, Taiwanese and Korean origin who all work at restaurants in New York’s Chinatown.

Upon first meeting and beginning to collaborate with Cao Fei, she quickly became their “Canton Sista!” to quote the group.

MoMA PS1’s acclaimed VW Sunday Sessions performance series welcomes visitors to experience and participate in live art. Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world. VW Sunday Sessions highlights artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses. Encompassing performance, music, dance, conversation, and film, the series develops and presents projects by established and emerging artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators. With a focus on artists that blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Sunday Sessions embraces the communities in New York City that create and sustain artistic practice.

Since 2012, VW Sunday Sessions has presented a commissioning program resulting in new work by Trajal Harrell, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Tobias Madison and Matthew Lutz Kinoy, Hannah Black, and Colin Self. Additionally, the VW Dome Artist Residency offers a platform for creative development and experimentation for artists at all stages of the creative process.


Sunday Sessions is organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator, with Alex Sloane, Curatorial Assistant; Taja Cheek, Curatorial Assistant; Rosey Selig-Addiss, Associate Producer and Lucy Lie, Production Assistant.

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Sunday Sessions and the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 are made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.

This performance is part of VW Sunday Sessions.