FRANKFURT.- MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main
is showcasing a comprehensive solo exhibition of works by American artist Sarah Morris (born 1967) in conjunction with the current presentation of works from the MMKs collection, which focuses on American and European art of the 1960s and major examples of Pop Art and Minimalism. Morriss oeuvre spans across both film and painting, relating strongly to the formal language of the Pop Art and Minimalist movements, expanding and challenging their vocabulary and placing it in a new discourse by crossing politics, industrial design, entertainment, commerce and architecture.
Sarah Morris creates paintings and films in which she traces urban and social topologies. She explores both the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics in order to survey how a particular moment can be inscribed and embedded into its visual surfaces. Morris assesses what todays architectural façades, urban structures, cities and nations might conceal. Often, these non-narrative fictional analyses result in conspiratorial studies of power, of the structures of control, of global socio-political networks.
As part of the exhibition, Sarah Morriss latest film Beijing will be screened in a European premiere. Beijing, an 86-minute 35mm film, focuses on one of the most intricate and ambiguous international broadcasted events of the past years the 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing observes the overwhelmingly perplexing and contradictory economy and authority of China, made all the more resonant in the current climate of global crisis.
The Olympics with their sense of historical urgency and unconditional trust in the future and in nationalism embody a system that marks the modern confluence of capitalism and mass media by means of an unprecedented mastery of technology, the mass migration of people, and a hypermediated event culture. In Beijing, Morris plays with the notion of duality, coupling it with the constant presence of the spectacle and its constant multiple interpretations.
Morriss film is a surreal portrait of an authoritarian state of turbo-capitalism during a period when the International Olympic Committee effectively took over sovereignty of the capital. Beijing depicts a hitherto closed country at a moment of apparent and possible theatrical openness, a hidden culture at a moment of extreme visibility. Consequently and this is perhaps why we are made to think of conspiracies the film questions the authorship of the spectacle, who is in control, and ultimately, the role of the artist.
Alongside Beijing the exhibition also features two other films by the artist, Capital (2000), filmed in the last days of the Clinton administration, exactly one year prior to 9/11 and Robert Towne (2006), a portrait of the renowned Hollywood script-writer, director, producer, Oscar winner of the film Chinatown and a specific selection of recent paintings. The Origami and Rings series, a coupling, signify possible impending events in the multiple cities and years of their correspondence.
Finally, MMK is extremely pleased that Sarah Morris is producing a wall painting, Chimera [Origami], for the exhibition her largest in Europe to date. The wall painting intersects both the unique post-modern architecture of the museum across two floors and the exhibit itself. A fascinating dialogue with the Pop Art and Minimalist movements on show in Yellow and Green is initiated through a visceral, all-encompassing situation that Morris has created for the MMK.