MoMA is pleased to premiere the live performance of Charles Gaines’s Manifestos 2 (2013), in collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem. A pioneer of Conceptual art, the Los Angeles–based artist has translated language from four influential speeches or manifestos into musical notation, arranged by Los Angeles composer and Opera Povera director Sean Griffin. Using a rule-based system translating each letter into its corresponding musical note (C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and treating each letter without a correlating note as a silent musical rest, Gaines has established a relationship between the structures of language and music; Manifestos 2 explores how the emotive properties of music affect the content of the manifestos and their interpretation. For the performance, Griffin will conduct a nine-piece ensemble, bringing the scores to life.
The performance is followed by a conversation with Gaines and Griffin; Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art; and Naima J. Keith, Assistant Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem.