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The Museum of Modern Art Department of Media and Performance

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) The Department of Media and Performance collects, exhibits, and preserves time-based art.

This includes moving images, film installations, video, performance, motion and sound-based works. 

The department’s collection is one of the most comprehensive and significant ones.

Apart from the permanent collection, you can also attend exhibitions widely known for their innovation and scholarship.

In addition to its exhibitions, the department also offers a variety of public programs, including lectures, symposia, and film screenings. 

The department also has a strong commitment to education, and it offers a variety of educational resources, including online courses, teacher workshops, and family programs.

This article shares all the information about the Department of Media and Performance at MoMA, NYC. 

History of  The Museum of Modern Art Department of Media and Performance

The Department of Media and Performance at MoMA has a rich history dating back to the museum’s early days. 

In 1926, MoMA became the first museum in the US to establish a film department. 

Initially, the department focused on collecting and preserving avant-garde films from Europe and the US. 

In the 1960s, the department included video art and then digital media in 1980 and sound art in the 1990s. 

The department’s collection now includes over 30,000 works of art.

Its exhibitions have featured the work of some of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Marina Abramović, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik,  etc. 

The Studio

In October 2019, MoMA opened the People’s Studio on the second floor. 

This space allows you to interact with art and artists’ ideas through various programs based on the annual theme.  

You can attend weekly programs to interact with creators and artists to understand their art better. 

Every year, artists from various fields come together in this studio to participate in the Catalyst Program of the Studio, which lets them display their innovative projects. 

Media and Performance Study Center

MoMA Media and Performance Department is located in The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building. 

The building offers a gorgeous view of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. 

The artworks are shown and managed by MoMA Media and Performance Study Center. It gives access to a few selected documents from the collection.

You need to make an appointment to visit from Monday to Friday between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm.

One needs to give four weeks of advance notice for their appointment.

Collection Highlights

The Department of Media and Performance at MoMA has a wide-ranging collection of time-based art, including

Moving images

Moving Images
Image: Moma.org

The department’s moving image collection includes over 20,000 films, videos, and digital works. 

The collection includes works by Alfred Hitchcock, Maya Deren, Andy Warhol, and Bill Viola.

Film installations

The department’s collection of film installations includes over 100 works. 

Film installations at MoMA are immersive and interactive, and they use various media, including film, video, sound, and light.

Video

The department’s collection of videos includes over 10,000 works. 

The collection includes works by some of the most important video artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Nam June Paik, Pipilotti Rist, and Cindy Sherman.

Performance

Performance
Image: Moma.org

The department’s collection of performance art includes over 1,000 works. 

The collection includes works by some of the most important performance artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, like Marina Abramović, Bruce Nauman, and Laurie Anderson.

Motion- and sound-based works

The department’s motion- and sound-based collection includes over 500 works on various media, including sound, light, and movement.

Other works

The department’s collection also includes works presented in a gallery setting. 

These works include works by artists such as Christian Marclay, Steve Reich, and Olafur Eliasson.

Recent Exhibitions

The Department of Media and Performance at MoMA has organized several acclaimed exhibitions in recent years. 

These exhibitions have featured the work of some of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

The exhibits at MoMA explore various themes, like the nature of time, the role of technology in art, and the relationship between art and the body.

Some of the department’s recent exhibitions include

Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present (2010)

This exhibition featured a performance by Marina Abramović in which she sat silently for 736 hours and 30 minutes, gazing into the eyes of visitors who came to see her. 

The exhibition was a critical and popular success, exploring endurance, vulnerability, and connection themes.

Nam June Paik: A Retrospective X (2020)

This exhibition was the largest retrospective of Nam June Paik’s work ever organized. 

The exhibition featured over 200 works, including video installations, sculptures, and performances. 

The exhibition explored Paik’s innovative use of technology, his interest in popular culture, and his exploration of Eastern and Western philosophies.

Pipilotti Rist: Ever is Over All (2022)

This exhibition featured a new body of work by Pipilotti Rist, including video installations, sculptures, and drawings. 

Rist’s work is often characterized by its use of vibrant colors, playful imagery, and immersive environments.

The exhibition explored themes of love, loss, and the body. 

Public Programs

With its exhibitions, the Department of Media and Performance at MoMA also has a variety of public programs, like lectures, symposia, and film screenings. 

These programs are designed to engage the public with the collection and exhibitions.

Some of the department’s recent public programs include

The Future of Film (2023)

The Future of Film (2023)
Image: Moma.org

This symposium explored the future of film in the age of digital media. 

The symposium featured speakers from various fields, including filmmakers, scholars, and technologists.

Cinema in Latin America (2023)

This film screening series showcased contemporary cinema from Latin America. 

The series featured films from various countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

Sound Art: A Listening Tour (2023)

Sound Art A Listening Tour (2023)
Image: Moma.org

This tour of MoMA’s sound art collection explored the art form’s history and development. 

This was a curator-led tour from the department and was open to the public.

Educational Resources

The Department of Media and Performance offers various educational resources, including online courses, teacher workshops, and family programs. 

These resources are designed to help educators and families learn about time-based art and engage with the department’s collection and exhibitions.

Some of the department’s recent educational resources include

Time-Based Art for Educators (online course)

Time-Based Art for Educators (online course)
Image: Moma.org

This online course introduces time-based art. 

The course covers various topics, including the history of time-based art, the different types of time-based art, and how to teach about time-based art in the classroom.

Performance Art Workshop

This workshop provides an introduction to performance art. 

The workshop covers various topics, including the history of performance art, the different types of performance art, and how to create performance art.

Family Day: Time-Based Art

Family Day Time-Based Art
Image: Moma.org

This family program allows families to learn about time-based art.

The program includes various activities, including hands-on art projects, gallery tours, and performances.

The Department of Media and Performance at MoMA is a leading center for studying and exhibiting time-based art. 

The department is committed to education and offers various educational resources to help educators and families learn about time-based art.

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