As the fellow for public programs at MoMA, part of my focus is working with artists to develop experimental programs that position the Museum as a resource for the public, artists, and “non-artists” alike. This season, I worked with artist Wafaa Bilal to develop a two-day public workshop, Dynamic Encounters: Experiments in Engagement to develop, execute, and present what Bilal calls an “open-ended performance” workshop that became a space for experimentation not only for participants but for Bilal and the Museum as well.
Posts tagged ‘performance’
There are forgotten bodies throughout The Museum of Modern Art. At least, that is how artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi refers to them. On staircases, in the Marron Atrium, and on furniture, visible from balconies and vantage points throughout the building, dancers fall, walk, crawl, or lounge on the floor, alongside accumulated dust and discarded ticket stubs.
Dance and performance are enjoying a renaissance at MoMA—take for example, performances happening at MoMA this fall, such as Trajal Harrell’s The Return of La Argentina or Walid Raad’s Scratching on things I could disavow: Walkthrough. This tendency is apparent at other modern and contemporary arts organizations around the world as well, like the Live program at Tate Modern. But at MoMA the interest in dance and theater is not new. In fact, since its inception in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has adopted a radical approach to presenting the art of our time.
Plenty of people think of museums, libraries, and archives as stagnant and apolitical places; sites where histories are not created, but simply preserved. In her performance Archive as Impetus (Not on View)—presented several times per week during the month of June as part of MoMA’s Artists Experiment initiative—artist Xaviera Simmons asked viewers to reconsider the role of the museum.
What do women artists want?
This question is announced through a microphone, repeated—carrying out into MoMA’s Garden Lobby and on to the second-floor Marron Atrium as visitors stop, turn, and listen.
As I’ve assisted Roxana Marcoci and Eva Respini with the exhibition Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960—which opened January 28 in The Robert and Joyce Menschel Gallery on the third floor—I’ve come to recognize the variety of layered themes that are present in the show, despite the fact that the exhibition itself only includes about 50 works (many of which are new acquisitions).
There’s a long history of dance and performance both inspiring and being influenced by the visual arts. The current MoMA exhibition On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, on view on the sixth floor, is full of examples of artists trying to capture dancers’ moving bodies in drawings, paintings and sculpture, as well as documenting them on film. If a line is the trace of a point in motion—an idea at the heart of On Line—then a human figure moving through space can be seen as a drawing in air, an insertion of drawing into the time and three-dimensional space of our lived world.
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