I’m in the midst of getting together new works for a solo exhibition at Washington State University Pullman (a few hours east of Seattle). Opening January 25, 2010, notMOMA will feature dozens of iconic artworks “on loan” from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Except that they’re all simulated fabrications made by myself and students from the Art Department at the University…
WSU Pullman Gallery proposal text:
Who is really at the center of the artworld? Does the auraof famous artworks still exist when remade by others? What is the relationship between art students and the art canon as represented by New York’s Museum of Modern Art? This project attempts to create a dialogue between WSU’s art department and an all-powerful institution located on the other side of the country.
This exhibition will consist of remakes of iconic artworks found in New York MoMA’s collection, only fabricated from basic materials by myself and the students and art department at Washington State University Pullman. During the first week of the gallery exhibition, the entire space will be utilized as a fabrication studio/workshop, in which individuals will be using the space to make their items. The notMOMA exhibition opening will consist of a final “clean” space in which the artworks will be displayed and credit given to both the “original” artist and the “remake” artist.
I will act as both curator and maker, working in communication with individuals to choose the iconic artworks. MOMA has an extensive website and search engine that catalogues their collection, providing a wonderful research tool for figuring out scale, size, and details of materials. Works will be remade using basic, inexpensive materials. Thus, a Donald Judd steel block work from the 1960s could be rendered at full size in foamboard and colored paper. A Sol LeWitt wall drawing can be executed with enough hands and labor. An Eva Hesse work can be made using paper mache and paint. Conceptual video works such as Nauman’s “Stamping in the Studio” can be remade with basic video equipment.
As a collection of famous “remakes,” notMoMA functions on multiple levels: as a way to create a stand-in for a travelling exhibition of artworks that would most likely not visit Pullman, as well as provide art students with a means to access iconic works on their own terms. The classical model of “copying” traditional paintings and sculptures as a way to emulate the “masters” is taken a step further in an explicitly self-conscious manner. By explicity naming it notMOMA, the title’s own negation of itself becomes a way to enter into a new dialogue of counterfeiting, emulation, student vs. master, and the very DIY-sensibility of attempting high ideals with the resources at-hand.