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Media Bichos and other Displays for Engaging People to Watch Videos in the Museum

ATC
16 Apr, 2012

Media Bichos and other Displays for Engaging People to Watch Videos in the Museum

Departing from the idea of the art museum as a repository of our culture through artifacts, in this lecture Breitwieser examines the role of the display in the visual art. For many years Conceptual Art was analyzed as a practice of "dematerializing" the art object to a linguistic manifestation. Scholars didn't pay enough attention to a practice that was developed by artists simultaneously: the display as a central concern of their work. During the years 1968 to 1972 Marcel Broodthaers created Musée d'art Moderne, Département des Aigles, a "fictious museum" that consisted of twelve sections, complex environments to engage the viewer and turn them into activators of the artwork. In 1986 Dan Graham wrote his text "Art as Design, Design as Art", and in the same year he created his first version of Interior Design for Space Showing Videos. How can the museum call upon such models and revisit it to cope with current issues of the contemporary art museum, for instance the ever never sufficient gallery space in combination of large holdings? How can we present thousands of hours of the history of video art in the museum and make the viewer "performing" the collection. Breitwieser discusses a few projects that she has produced with artists like Dan Graham, Elke Krystufek, Heimo Zobernig, and currently with Reneé Green that were designed for museums.

Sabine Breitwieser is the Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. From 1988 until 2007 she was the Founding Director and Chief Curator of the Generali Foundation in Vienna for which she has built the museum, a distinct program and a large collection of conceptual and media based art. She has curated retrospectives/solo exhibitions and edited publications of artists such as Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Andrea Fraser, Mary Kelly, Edward Krasiński, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gustav Metzger, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula. Since her arrival at MoMA in fall 2011 she has curated Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance), 9 Scripts of A Nation at War by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne, and two multi-day performance projects, Grand Openings Return of the Blogs, and Combatant Status Review Tribunals, pp. 002954-00304: A Public Reading. Among her upcoming projects at MoMA is the Media Lounge designed by the artist Renée Green that will give access to the entire collection of video and audio-based works.

This lecture is co-presented with the Arts Research Center.

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