Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, David Thorne. 9 Scripts from a Nation at War. 2007. Ten-channel video installation (color, sound). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2012 the artists. Photograph by Jonathan Muzikar

9 Scripts from a Nation at War (2007), a 10-channel video installation recently acquired by MoMA, marks the first work for which artists Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne have collaborated. The work responds to knowledge production and communication in the context of the Iraq war since the initial invasion by U.S. military forces in March 2003. The 10 videos comprising the large-scale, spatial installation cast inquiry into the position of the individual amidst roles constructed by war. Each video stages the speaking of a script from the following perspectives: citizen, blogger, correspondent, veteran, student, actor, interviewer, lawyer, detainee, and source. The scripts are enacted by both actors and non-actors, some speaking their own words, some reciting the words of others. Displayed as projections and seated viewing stations in a circuitous, non-narrative structure, the performative videos create a charged environment questioning the implications of war on individual and collective subjectivity.

Andrea Geyer (German, b. 1971), Sharon Hayes (American, b. 1970), Ashley Hunt (American, b. 1970), Katya Sander (Danish, b. 1970), and David Thorne (American, b. 1960) have worked together in smaller constellations on a range of artworks and projects over the past seven years. The nature of their collaboration—geographically varied, multidisciplinary, and constantly shifting—reflects the ways in which their individual practices overlap. Primarily through video, performance, and installation, the artists have employed methods from theater, film, linguistics, and journalism. Leading up to the exhibition, a live performance by the artists titled Combatant Status Review Tribunals pp. 002954–003064: A Public Reading, created in conjunction with 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, took place in The Agnes Gund Lobby on November 12 and November 13, 2011.

Organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Martin Hartung, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

Installation views

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