Collection 1980s–Present


Inner and Outer Space

Fall 2019–Fall 2020


Chéri Samba. Water Problem. 2004. Acrylic on canvas, 53 1/8 × 78 3/4" (135 × 200 cm). CAAC-The Pigozzi Collection. Gift of Jean Pigozzi
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 209 The David Geffen Wing

What constitutes a border? The artists presented here wrestle with this question in multiple ways. They consider the margins that separate nations from one another, the personal from the public, and the past from the present. While borders can define spaces and offer security, they can also generate forms of displacement and incite violence. And as societies have become more connected than ever, such arbitrary limits have in contrast grown more rigid and confining.

These artists explore the social and political landscapes that shape our understanding of each other. Some depict fantasies of escape from crises created by geopolitical and environmental degradation; others evoke new worlds to imagine how rapid urbanization and technologies expand connectivities. Still others play with the shifts of scale from vast public structures to intimate domestic and psychic interiors. Together they help us understand that the built environment, like the histories, memories, and imaginaries it contains, is in constant flux.

Organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Roxana Marcoci, The David Dechman Senior Curator, Department of Photography, and Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

12 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


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

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].


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