Performing Histories (1) is the first part of a two-part exhibition of media artworks that engage with history in various ways. These works, which have all recently entered the Museum’s Media and Performance Art collection, represent a wide range of perspectives, reflecting the diversity of the artist’s practices and backgrounds. The featured artists are 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. 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.
Exploring social and political conditions and reconsidering their own personal pasts, the participating artists in Performing Histories (1) have deconstructed histories, focusing on the ambiguity of history and the impact of ideologies on individual and collective consciousness. The installation guides the visitors through a space of diverse readings in which connections can be drawn across different perspectives on history. Examining history as both document and fiction, the exhibited works raise questions about how the past is constructed and how it can inform the present.
Along with the exhibition, a number of live performances will be held in the Museum galleries. The series begins with Los Angeles based artist Andrea Fraser’s performance Men on the Line: Men Committed to Feminism, KPFK, 1972 (2012), a transcribed and edited dialogue from a 1972 live radio broadcast in which four men discuss feminist struggles. Originally produced by West of Rome.
A special section in the MoMA Media Lounge will be dedicated to videos related to the exhibition.