Michael E. Smith

Dec 1, 2017–May 7, 2018

MoMA PS1

Michael E. Smith, Untitled, 2017.

Michael E. Smith (b. 1977, American) animates and transforms everyday objects through careful manipulations and arrangements. Subtle juxtapositions, removals, misuses, and degradations render even the most common things unfamiliar. Reproducing and recasting objects sourced from the products of American industry, Smith jettisons the anonymity of these mass-produced goods to endow his sculptures with singular and uncanny qualities.

For this presentation, Smith exhibits two new pieces that draw out the ephemeral aspects of his work. Both untitled, these kinetic sculptures create haunting effects through their use of intangible materials. A fog machine releases a cloud into a crumpled black sweatshirt, momentarily bringing it to life before the mist disperses into the room. In the other work, a laser pointer shoots a pulsing beam along the wall, intersecting with a vintage taxidermy macaw. The devices that power the light and smoke within Smith's sculptures are defined through their connection to empty vessels that once housed, or have the potential to house, a living entity. Smith’s sculptures extend from the parameters of the object itself and into the atmosphere of the space.

Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition is supported by the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund.

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].