Saturday, July 27, 2013

‘Performing Histories’ and ‘Cut 'n' Paste’ at MOMA

A new installation at MOMA traces evolution of collage as both a cultural practice of layering, juxtaposition, and remix that configures the city and an aesthetic technique key to architectural representation. Exploring socio-political conditions and also reconsidering their own pasts, the artists in Performing Histories (1) look to deconstruct histories, focusing on their ambiguity and the impact of ideologies on individual as well as collective consciousness.

‘Cut 'n' Paste’
The ethos of collage shapes every aspect of contemporary culture, from the glut of signs and images to the many layers of digital information to the art of sampling. Organized by Pedro Gadanho (Curator & Phoebe Springstubb, Curatorial Assistant, Dept. of Architecture and Design) ‘Cut 'n' Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City  revisits early uses of collage.

Opening with the seamless digital collages that dominate contemporary architectural practice, this installation pairs the early photo-collages of Mies van der Rohe with avant-garde experiments in photomontage, graphic design, and film. Architectural thinkers Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s Collage City (1978), an urban manifesto for the medium, provides a backdrop through which to reframe contemporary uses. As an architectural tool, this wide-ranging medium mixes high and popular references and offers a dynamic, inventive connection to cultural context.
Performing Histories (1)
In recent decades, artists have increasingly chosen to employ performance in conjunction with cinematic mediums, such as film, slide projection, video, and photography, in orderto create multifaceted narratives and provide new readings of past events. The series presents works that use time-based art forms to reflect on interpretations of history. The works, which have all recently entered the Museum's collection, represent the diverse practices of the artists: Kader Attia (b. France, 1970), Andrea Fraser (b. USA, 1965), Ion Grigorescu (b. Romania, 1945), Sharon Hayes (b. USA, 1970), Dorit Margreiter (b. Austria, 1967), Deimantas Narkevičius (b. Lithuania, 1964), and Martha Rosler (b. USA, 1943).

The practices, exemplified in these works, of revisiting existing narratives and examining one’s own cultural, social, and personal history are not bound to any specific medium; they are part of critical artistic practice, in general. The installation guides the visitors through a space of diverse readings in which connections can be drawn across different perspectives on history.

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