Martin Beck

Last Night

Jun 2, 2024

MoMA

Martin Beck. Still from Last Night. 2016. Installation with high-definition video (color, sound; 13 hrs., 29 min.), sound system, and seating, dimensions variable. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Maja Oeri. ©️ Martin Beck. Courtesy Martin Beck and 47 Canal, New York
  • MoMA, Floor 4, Studio The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio

Martin Beck: Last Night presents the artist’s eponymous film work for one day only, on June 2, 2024. Acquired by the Museum in 2022, Last Night (2016) revisits the records that musical host David Mancuso played on June 2, 1984, at one of the last parties at the 99 Prince Street location of the seminal New York dance party known as the Loft.

Beginning on Valentine’s Day 1970, Mancuso regularly held invitation-only dance parties at his home, which later became known as the Loft. In this intimate yet vibrant communal space, high-quality sound and exquisite music were central to the atmosphere, and defined the Loft’s lasting influence on dance culture.

Taking a cue from Mancuso’s signature style of playing each song from beginning to end, no matter their length, Beck films the records spun on June 2, 1984, in full and in sequence, using 10 different camera angles in a pattern based on the Golden Ratio. Unfolding across 13 and a half hours, the work offers communion with that singular night, while simultaneously implying distance from the original event.

June 2, 2024, will mark exactly 40 years since the evening Last Night commemorates. Installed in MoMA’s Kravis Studio on this anniversary, the presentation creates the conditions for memory, contemplation, and celebration—highlighting the communities and exchange of ideas that develop alongside works of art.

Martin Beck: Last Night is on view in the Kravis Studio on Sunday, June 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. During regular Museum hours, entry to the installation is included with Museum admission. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., admission to the installation is free on a first-come, first-served basis, with no time limit for viewers. Demand for Last Night is expected to be high, so please anticipate significant wait times. Please note that after-hours viewing includes Last Night only—no other galleries will be open to the public.

Organized by May Makki, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

  • This exhibition is part of The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio.
  • Major support for the exhibition is provided by the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance and by the Wallis Annenberg Director's Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art.

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