MoMA PS1’s Current Climate

Published April 24, 2013

ABOVE: AGNES DENES, WHEATFIELD – A CONFRONTATION: BATTERY PARK LANDFILL, DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN. 1982. © AGNES DENES. PHOTO COURTESY OF LESLIE TONKONOW ARTWORKS + PROJECTS, NEW YORK. 

In an attempt to address the global instability of the 21st century, this spring, MoMA PS1 undertakes a multifaceted exploration of our world’s current ecological challenges amidst widespread political and social change. Developed by MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator-at-Large Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist, EXPO 1: New York takes on the subject at hand with a festival-minded lineup of concurrent solo projects, collaborations, and group exhibitions. 

Anchoring the festival is Dark Optimism, on view from May 12 through September 2. The name, coined by online publication Triple Canopy, encapsulates the sentiment of being on the edge of apocalypse, tempered with the hope of technological innovation. Featuring work from 35 artists, including Joseph Beuys, Adrián Villar Rojas, Meg Webster, Agnes Denes, and Anna Betbeze, a selection of landscapes by Ansel Adams, and a group exhibition curated by Josh Kline preoccupied with the human body and technology, Dark Optimism seeks to reconcile the failure of Modernism’s ideals with humanity’s capacity for an improved future.

Additionally, Triple Canopy will host a daily lineup of discussions, debates, and lectures. MoMA PS1 has partnered with the Argentinian architecture firm a77 to create a housing colony in the museum’s courtyard, where artists can live throughout the durations of the exhibition, addressing alternative purposes of public space. Random International’s Rain Room, a large-scale digital environment crafted so viewers can control rain through physical interaction, will also be on view at the Museum of Modern Art.

EXPO 1: NY reaches beyond the limits of institutional space. A temporary geodesic dome, constructed via MoMA PS1’s partnership with Volkswagen, has been erected in the Rockaways, serving as a venue for culture, education, and community activity in the area devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Open until May 18, the center provides an open space for lectures, performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, and community events, determined in conjunction with local organizations.

EXPO 1: NEW YORK WILL BE ON VIEW FROM MAY 12 to SEPTEMBER 2, 2013.