THE OPENINGS OF: PICASSO: GUITARS 1912–1914 / STAGING ACTION: PERFORMANCE IN PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE 1960 / PROJECTS 94: HENRIK OLESEN (February 8, 2011)
image credit: Nicholas Ruiz. Bow Tie #1. Assembled February 2011. Guitar picks, wooden hanger, super glue. Forest Hills, Queens, New York.
February 13–June 6, 2011
In 1912, Pablo Picasso made a guitar. Cobbled together from cardboard, paper, string, and wire—materials he cut, folded, threaded, and glued—Picasso's instrument resembled no artwork ever seen before. In 1914 the artist reiterated his fragile construction in more fixed and durable sheet metal form. The two Guitars—one in cardboard, one in metal—bracket an intense period of experimentation in which Picasso embraced ready-made materials, artisans' techniques, and common still life subjects. Read more.
January 28–May 9, 2011
Performance art is generally experienced live, but what documents it and ensures its enduring life is, above all, photography. Yet photography plays a constitutive role, not merely a documentary one, when performance is staged expressly for the camera (often in the absence of an audience), and the images that result are recordings of an event but also autonomous works of art. The pictures in this exhibition, selected from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, exemplify the complex and varied uses artists have devised for photography in the field of performance since the 1960s. Read more.
February 9–May 23, 2011
In his conceptually rigorous and often witty work, Berlin-based artist Henrik Olesen (b. 1967, Esbjerg, Denmark) investigates structures of power and systems of knowledge to reveal inherent logics and rules of social and political normalization. Olesen’s projects, based on in-depth research, have addressed a range of subjects including legal codes, the natural sciences, distribution of capital, and art history, and have taken the form of posters, fliers, text, collages, found-object sculptures, and spatial interventions. In past works, Olesen has compiled examples of “sodomy law” from around the world as testimony to the persistent criminalization of homosexuality; assembled a vast atlas of conspicuous and yet rarely acknowledged expressions of same-sex desire or affection in Western art history; and, most recently, created a historical and imagined portrait—in photo-text collages and sculptural objects—of British mathematician Alan Turing, who was persecuted for his sexual orientation despite his professional achievements and patriotic contributions. For Projects 94, Olesen presents a new site-specific work. Read more.