MOMA PS1, one of New York’s leading institutions in the contemporary art scene, endeavors to discover, encourage, and exhibit emerging artists as well as support innovative and avant-garde projects .
The building, originally a public school, was “discovered” and funded by Alanna Heiss in 1971 as the institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc, whose objective was to organize art exhibitions in abandoned structures spread across New York City. In 1976, the first major exhibition, Rooms, was held and invited world-renowned artists such as James Turrell, Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt to transform the building’s spaces with in-situ installations. In 2000, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of the MOMA and changed its name to MOMA PS1; the merger was intended to combine the latest, most avant-garde art creations with the Modern Art collection.
Not only are art exhibitions held in this leading contemporary art institution, but also interviews, conferences, performances, projections, concerts, events and much more take place at MOMA PS1.
From March 23rd until September 7th, MOMA PS1 will host GCC: Achievements in Retrospective on the ground floor. GCC, exhibiting for the first time in North America, is an art collective that originated in the VIP lounge of Art Dubai in 2013.; Iit is made up of nine artists: Nanu Al-Hamad, Khalid Al Gharaballi, Sophia Al Maria, Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Fatima Al Qadiri, Monira Al Qadiri, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid and Amal Khalaf, all born around the Arabian Gulf. GCC stands for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is an economic and political delegation of the Arabian Gulf Nations. They create installations, videos, performances, sculpture and photograph exhibits to represent the evolving region of the Arab Gulf.
The work of the GCC art collective focuses in particular on the role that business and diplomacy hold in their countries. For example, an exhibit of photographs about their summit in Morschach, (Switzerland), in Kuwait and in New York; here the artists ironically contemplate their future projects. In particular, Rolls Royce invites visitors to “take a ride” in this famously luxurious car, used as a setting for a sound installation; other examples include the pictures of sumptuous hallways and lounges where the art collective pokes fun at (prende in giro) the emptiness and vacuity of rituals, meetings and procedures in the Arab Gulf.
Particularly biting is the installation of an office surrounded by pompous statues; a video runs, aiming to attract tourists and photographs of wonderful scenarios, while the visitors look through an opaque glass at an empty, mediocre-looking, dirty office, suggesting a total contrast: whoever works here is slow, messy, and inefficient.
The GCC art collective states that optimistic realism underlies their work despite a show of high power structures deploying themselves through conventions, ceremonies, luxury and a conspicuous amount of money. The artists’ most interesting concept of the exhibition illustrates the contradiction between the inefficiency of current labor and the incredible transformative developments that have pervaded the Arab Gulf over the last few decades.
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