Posts Tagged ‘MoMA’

jenny holzer is designing a line of sneakers for keds, to sponsor the whitney.

they’re very simple, subtler than most clothes with words on them, and at $70, not insanely overpriced either (kinda). this is what they look like:



sorta cute, right?


either way i really like jenny holzer, she’s that artist who projects words and snappy sayings on a variety of surfaces. seriously snappy.


(at moma)

Jenny Holzer, Selections from Inflammatory Essays (1979-82), Survival (1983-85), Living (1980-82) (English)


Jenny Holzer, Selection from the Survival Series: Use What is Dominant...”


Jenny Holzer, You Are My Own(from artnet)


i can’t tell if she’s less angsty or maybe just more complacent about her angst, than barbara kruger. either way, reading her words always makes me say “hm” or “ph” or some other monosyllabic but pleasant thinking sort of noise. she’s in most every museum with a contemporary-type collection. recommend.

[ stefanie ]

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a little while ago i rambled about marina abramovic’s current exhibition at moma, but my research was faulty and i didn’t realize how many (approximately 50!) pieces were actually part of the artist is present. in the title work, ms abramovic sits for seven hours a day and viewers are allowed to sit across from her for as long as they’d like, and stare at her. she stares back. some weirdos sit for over an hour. moma posts the resultant portraits on its flickr page, and they provide for many minutes of weirdness and fascination!

Day 41, Marina Abramović by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 40, Portrait 3 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 38, Portrait 10 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 38, Portrait 3 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 36, Portrait 9 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 30, Portrait 5 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 30, Portrait 2 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.

Day 10, Portrait 1 by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art.


everyone ends up crying, for some reason.


the portraits remind me of elf ludin’s photo project from darkness, and of andy warhol’s screen tests.


all of the images produce a false sense of intimacy bred from prolonged eye contact, and stuff. an act usually saved only for those with whom we feel an intense connection, rendered uncomfortable by proximity to a stranger and an awkward museum setting. also, some people are super weird looking, like human mr potato heads, and i wonder if marina abramovic notices.


[ stefanie ]

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marina abramovic has an exhibition at moma in which two naked people flank a doorway and museum goers have to squeeze past the naked in order to continue on their way.

marina abramovic, although prolific and strong and innovative, makes my stomach churn. a huge part of her oeuvre deals with self harm and mutilation and nudity, and reminds me of feminist art where artists like carolee schneemann and orlan and others whose names don’t come to mind as quickly treated their bodies like objects to make it known that, omg, women’s bodies tend to be treated like objects.

Carolee Schneemann, Interior scroll

(thank you, artnet)

so then marina abramovic not only wants us to know that women’s bodies have been objectified but also that they’ve been abused. she sets up a gallery piece where the only way for her to travel from one platform up to another is by way of a ladder, whose rungs are actually knives with their blades up. or she carves shapes into her belly or cuts the skin in between her fingers or sets up a table with knives and blades and thorny roses and a gun and allows the viewer to use these items on her, any way they’d like. so now her body is, completely, an object upon which others can place their own motivations and instincts.

i like the parts of her art that force the viewer to come to terms with their own issues–the fact that it feels weird to walk by a naked person in a museum, for example–but the violence and extreme objectification are so hard to stomach. which is a good thing, i guess, because if anything should be hard to stomach it should be exploitation and violence and misogyny. and if art is a reflection of the world that produced the artist, then art like this is important and appropriate.

but then again, why are female artists allowed to objectify and maim when male artists who do the same thing are vehemently criticized as exploitative males? alexander mcqueen’s collections come to mind, because he was always getting shit for being misogynistic and angry towards women. it’s a fuzzy line between self-expression and exploitation. and what if abramivic and schneemann and the rest are just keeping the cycle of subjugation going? in trying to rebel and break free, are we just entrenching ourselves further?

this is a post with no point, you see, but i’m an armchair feminist and i never know what to do with artists like abramovic. i wonder if we’re too inundated with porn and pretty ladies for anything naked to not register as erotic, no matter how avant-garde the imagery may be. and maybe they’re all just trying to own their sexuality and womanhood and use it for their own means rather than those of society and culture at large–but then there’s no difference between schneemann and bettie page and ladies who make porn that doesn’t exploit. which is fine, but isn’t there supposed to be a line between kitsch and the avant garde, that is to say, between porn and art?


(go get em, bets)

i would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

[ stefanie ]

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a membership to MoMA is an extremely worthwhile investment.

our favorite exhibition of the summer was by copenhagen-born artist olafur eliasson, called take your time. his art is absolutely conceptual in its orientation, but it was conceptual with a purpose in mind other than just proving itself edgy or avant-garde, which we feel is an enormous problem with a lot of contemporary art these days (the spring exhibition at palais de tokyo, for example, included a room full of men playing paintball and it made us giggle but it felt half-hearted and did not stimulate any of our senses, and did not provoke any sort of thought, and art that doesn’t even intrigue is just sorta lame). eliasson’s room-sized installations explore color, light, and temporality, in simple subtle ways that cut straight past intellectualism and wordiness in favor of overwhelming the senses in a warm yet mind-boggling manner. in the room pictured up top, the walls slowly and almost imperceptibly shifted colors from one neon pastel to another, and we felt warm and serene as if we were standing in a fluorescent womb.

eliasson also rigged up some waterfalls around manhattan which got rave reviews. i craned my neck to see one while riding the subway out to coney island for the village voice siren festival as we passed over the brooklyn bridge, but was facing the wrong direction. bummer.

[ stefanie ]

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