June 16, 2012

More from NYC: MoMA

Got back from another stint in New York but haven't had a chance to process the photos 'til now. Since I was there earlier this year, I had the luxury of spending a little more time in fewer places. I spent 2 days at MoMA and could have spent much more – it's literally awesome.

The knock-out show was, of course, the Cindy Sherman retrospective. She's spent a lifetime re-creating in loving detail our most ambitious creations, ourselves, transforming herself into half of humanity while calling into question every means by which we prop up our sense of reality as well as our own identities – while selectively leavening her tableaux with flaws that point toward the eerie whatever-it-is that lies beneath. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed; but MoMA has lots of visuals on their website.

I also enjoyed a series of vintage video classics by Vito Acconci, Dan Graham, Richard Serra & Nancy Holt, et al., across from the main elevators on the ground floor; videos by Noam Toran, also near the elevators, I think maybe on the second floor?; an exhibition called The Shaping of New Visions, which included wonderful videos by Paul Strand & Charles Sheeler (hokily captioned but gorgeously shot) and Man Ray, as well as three series of politically-conscious photographic works, by Harrell Fletcher, Martha Rosler, and Lee Friedlander, among other things; the Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language exhibition (where photography was unfortunately again not allowed; but the "catalogue" was cheap). And I liked the premise of the Foreclosed, Rehousing the American Dream show – that the real estate collapse could be regarded as an opportunity to re-think housing, rather than leaving it to be exploited by disaster capitalists – tho' I found the show slightly disappointing in other ways.

My own photos of some of these works are here; apologies for moiré on tv screens and other defects; these photos help me as a record, at least, and can perhaps serve others in the same way.

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