Art and the Elastic Museum

Pipilotti Rists' "Pour Your Body In" Installation at MOMA

Pipilotti Rists' "Pour Your Body In" Installation at MOMA

At some point in MOMA’s history the museum’s curators had to decide whether to historicize the 20th Century avant-garde that it sought to promote in the fields of art architecture and design, or to keep pace with (or one step ahead of) artistic and creative production and remain a laboratory for the exploration of contemporary art and design. Recent shows like Pipilotti Rist’s iconic and immersive video panorama and forward looking exhibitions like Design and The Elastic Mind have shown that MOMA continues to shape the way we explore and experience emerging artistic expression and design practice. No longer a novelty, the digital mediums have changed the shape of the museum, its archtecture, the way it collects, the way it exhibits, and the way museumgoers interact with the work, the artists and each other. Long gone are they days of quiet aesthetic appreciation fine art in austere white walled galleries. For several months, Rist’s installation in the museum’s atrium created a casual lounge atmosphere, a place to relax and soak up the ambience with your kids crawling around on a giant upholstery doughnut.

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5 responses to “Art and the Elastic Museum

  1. The MOMA is a great space for modern art. Its ability to shift with the new artistic movements and at the same time shows the art of the 20th century. I feel that the museum does both, and well. But when looking at the image of people quietly appreciating the aesthetic of Pipilotti Rist’s “Pour Your Body Out”, that is shown on white walled gallery it shows that the days are not long gone, but just being re-shaped. That is what is wonderful about MOMA, its ability to re-shape and change with the arts. Yet, under it all there are still white walled galleries and an appreciation of the 20th century art in the upper stories.

  2. I had the opportunity to visit this exhibition and was amazed by the idea of getting submerged into that world.

    The idea of lounge and relax at a museum is rather new and I find really interesting how artists are taking and can take this into other levels.

  3. I like that this installation transforms a quiet, white washed canvas into a spectrum of color, community, and possibility.

    Rist’s installation is a great example of how the progression of technology is influencing other aspects of design.

    The MoMA gallery is an example of how dynamic a space can be through simple plays of video, sound, and sculpture.

    I like to think that this a long-term shift we are taking in design. I believe that by combining progressing tech. tools and physical space is possibly going to be a more efficient way of designing.

  4. MoMA has a rich history as a champion of art and design through its collections, exhibitions and – more exceptionally for a museum – its competitions. It’s often been a participant, rather than just a proponent. This is a pretty exciting and unique position, but also one that can provoke (almost ethical?) questions about the role of museums (my group and I are considering similar ideas when we look at the Cooper-Hewitt).

  5. I love installations because of their engagement with space and with the audience.
    The audience does not need to need to do anything, by only walking through, sitting, laying down, gradually the atmosphere wraps them. For example, at Olafur Eliasson’s installation at MoMA and P.S.1, we didn’t need to physically interact with his pieces, but the reflection of ourselves on his pieces, and our shadows cast by his lighting pieces, make us visually and spatially interact with his art works. And the moment when I was able to somehow spatially interact with pieces, and when I felt the engagement between the piece and the space and myself emphasizes the existence of myself. This is why I love architecture as kind of installation that engages people within the space.

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