Picturing MoMA: Sara Cwynar

For the commissioned series Modern Art in Your Life, the artist examines the stories we tell through images.
Sara Cwynar September 19, 2019

As we prepare for the opening of a new MoMA in October, we invited artists Rosalind Fox Solomon and Sara Cwynar to capture this moment in the Museum’s history through their eyes. To create Modern Art in Your Life, a series of videos that launches this week on MoMA’s Instagram and Magazine, Cwynar thought about “truth and history as told through art and shared public images.”

Part 1
Sara Cwynar. Modern Art in Your Life, Part 1. 2019
Part 2
Sara Cwynar. Modern Art in Your Life, Part 2. 2019
Part 3
Sara Cwynar. Modern Art in Your Life, Part 3. 2019
Part 4
Sara Cwynar. Modern Art in Your Life, Part 4. 2019
I wanted to think about the meaning and position of all of MoMA’s beautiful things in our time of image saturation and overwhelming choice.
Sara Cwynar

“My project is loosely inspired by John Berger’s seminal 1970s video series Ways of Seeing, updated for our time. Berger’s project was a series of four 30-minute videos made for the BBC in 1972 as a reaction to the ways that television and new forms of commodity advertising were using art historical strategies in order to seduce consumers. His work critiqued the ways that images are used by those in power to make their interests seem inevitable or natural, and he demonstrates these power dynamics by looking at advertising, historical painting, and television. In my own project, I am similarly exploring how values and social norms are constructed and reinforced through art historical objects and popular images. The videos connect the power of art history and advertising to new issues around social media, contemporary feminism and the #MeToo movement, technology and the intensified life of images, and news media and truth in the current moment. I wanted to think about the meaning and position of all of MoMA’s beautiful things in our time of image saturation and overwhelming choice.”
—Sara Cwynar

To find out more about Cwynar’s and Solomon’s work and projects for MoMA, read an interview with the artists.
The video references John Berger's Ways of Seeing and André Malraux's Le Musée Imaginaire.
Director: Sara Cwynar
Cinematographer: Wilson Cameron
Gaffer: Tim Ciavara