March 5, 2013  |  Events & Programs
Uncontested Spaces: 2013 “Laureate” Public Events
Kenneth Goldsmith intoning Russolo's "Art of Noise" manifesto in the <i>Inventing Abstraction</i> galleries,  February 2013. © 2013 Star Black

Kenneth Goldsmith intoning Russolo’s “Art of Noise” manifesto in the Inventing Abstraction galleries, February 2013. © 2013 Star Black

There’s an insane amount of poetry and poetry-related stuff going on at MoMA from now until June. Some of the best poets, authors, and musicians will be descending into the galleries for guerilla readings. Below is a list that consolidates everything in one easy-to-reference place. And since the list is still in formation, keep checking back—I’ll be updating it.

Full MoMA Artist Experiment online listings can also be found in the MoMA calendar.


Uncontested Spaces: Guerilla Readings in the MoMA Galleries
Select Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. and Fridays at 3:00 p.m., through June 2013
All readings are FREE with Museum admission.


February 8 at 3:00 p.m. Kenneth Goldsmith reads Blaise Cendrars in Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925

February 15 at 3:00 p.m. Kenneth Goldsmith reads selections from the minimal poems of Aram Saroyan (composed between 1968 and 1972) in the Minimalism galleries on the fourth floor

February 20 at 12:30 p.m. Sheila Heti reads from her book, How Should a Person Be? A Novel from Life, in front of Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon on the fifth floor

February 27 at 12:30 p.m. Melissa Clark reads “On Murdering Eels and Laundering Swine,” by Betty Fussell, in front of Yayoi Kusama’s Accumulation No. 1, in Gallery 19, fourth Floor

February 27 at 1:30 p.m. David Wondrich reads two pieces from The New York Sun, “SEEN ON A BRIDGE TRAIN: SEVEN LITTLE GIRLS AND A MAN WITH A VERY LARGE JAG” (1896) and “LOUIS’S LOADED BILLY GOAT: TOGO TORPEDOES HOBOS WHO LIBELED THE LUNCH” (1905) in front of Paul Strand’s Manahatta in the Shaping of New Visions exhibition in the third-floor Photography Galleries.

March 1 at 3:00 p.m. Kenneth Goldsmith reads Ted Berrigan’s “Train Ride” in front of Alex Katz’s Upside Down Ada (1965), Gallery 19, fourth floor

March 6 at 12:30 p.m. David Shields

March 8 at 3:00 p.m. Kenneth Goldsmith reads selections from the writing of Samuel Beckett in front of Robert Morris’s Untitled (1968), Gallery 26, fourth floor

March 13 at 12:30 p.m. Tan Lin

March 20 at 12:30 p.m. Rick Moody and CAConrad

March 27 at 12:30 p.m. Heidi Julavits tells stories about objects in Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925; Steven Zultanski gives a reading

April 3 at 12:30 p.m. Charles Bernstein reads Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein, Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, the Russian Futurists, Marsden Hartley, Francis Picabia, Vasily Kandinsky, Kurt Schwitters, Guillaume Apollinaire, F. T. Marinetti, and his own work, in Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925

April 10 at 12:30 p.m. Eileen Myles

April 10 at 12:30 p.m. Maira Kalman

April 24 at 12:30 p.m. John Zorn’s 60th Birthday Celebration at MoMA
1. Apophthegms for Two Violins, performed by Chris Otto and Dave Fulmer in the room of Paul Klee paintings
2. Beuysblock, a tape piece played in the Joseph Beuys room on a small sound system through two speakers
3. Untitled for solo cello, inspired by Joseph Cornell, performed by Erik Friedlander in the Surrealism room, near Cornell’s Untitled (Bébé Marie) (early 1940s)
4. Saxophone/drum duo improvisation with John Zorn (saxophone) and Milford Graves (drums) in the Abstract Expressionism galleries, Jackson
5.  The Gnostic Preludes, performed by Carl Emanuel (harp) and Kenny Wollesen (vibes) in the Claude Monet Water Lilies (1914–26) gallery

May 15 at 12:30 p.m. Alex Ross

May 29 at 12:30 p.m. Rob Fitterman & Kim Rosenfeld; Mónica de la Torre

June 5 at 12:30 p.m. Vanessa Place

June 12 at 12:30 p.m. Christian Bök

June 19 at 12:30 p.m. Stefan Sagmeister and Tracie Morris


Kenneth Goldsmith: “Poet Laureate” Lecture 2013
“My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution”
March 20, 6:00 p.m., The Celeste Bartos Theater (T3)

Taking clues from the visual art world, Kenneth Goldsmith posits poetry’s next—and possibly last—move as institutional critique, as viewed through the lens of activist poetry: poetry that makes things happen, poetry as an occupying force. A reception and signing of Goldsmith’s newest book, Seven American Deaths and Disasters (powerHouse Books, 2013) follows the lecture. Tickets are on sale now.


An Exhibition Happening Everywhere, At All Times, with Everyone: A Lecture by Mathieu Copeland
April 17, 6:00 p.m., The Celeste Bartos Theater (T3)

Curator Mathieu Copeland discusses the poetics of interstitial, neutral, and otherwise overlooked “non-spaces” in museums and galleries, imagining how they can be activated and seen anew through a variety of perspectives, and thus subvert the traditional role of exhibitions.
Tickets are on sale now.

On April 18 and 19, look out for Mathieu Copeland and three of his art/performance students from the HEAD Art and Design School in Geneva, as they activate “non-spaces,” offering Museum visitors the opportunity to experience artworks through voice.


Astonishing City Free Of Microbes And Captive Elephants: A ‘Pataphysical Bus Tour with Kenneth Goldsmith
May 31, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Experience New York through the lens of poetry and architecture. Kenneth Goldsmith ends his residency on a double-decker bus tour of New York City’s landmark sites, accompanied by a marathon reading from his work-in-progress, Capital, a poetic history of New York City in the 20th century, inspired by Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project, which documented the cultural history of Paris in the 19th century. ‘Pataphysics, the science of imaginary solutions to imaginary problems, was pioneered by Alfred Jarry in the early 20th century. By leasing a Gray Line open-top tour bus and making it do things it normally doesn’t, we’ll recast it as a ‘pataphysical vehicle, turning a quotidian tourist trap into a magical mystery tour. Tickets are on sale now.