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Modern Mondays Series at MoMA Presents Screenings and Discussions with Multimedia Artists

NEW YORK, NY.- Modern Mondays, The Museum of Modern Art’s Monday night screening series of new works by contemporary filmmakers and multimedia artists, continues this fall with engaging and thought-provoking programming by a diverse selection of cutting-edge international artists. Launched a year ago as a way for audiences to have opportunities to interact directly with directors and artists, Modern Mondays’ presentations feature screenings by established and emerging filmmakers followed by dialogue and discussion with the audience.

Modern Mondays is an interdepartmental program organized by MoMA’s Department of Film and Department of Media: Sally Berger, Assistant Curator; Jytte Jensen, Curator; Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator; Rajendra Roy, Celeste Bartos Chief Curator; and Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, all of the Department of Film; and Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator; and Barbara London, Associate Curator, in the Department of Media.

October 20: An Evening with Olga Chernysheva
Moscow-based artist Olga Chernysheva investigates issues of space and reality capturing quotidian life in contemporary, post-Communist Russia using video, photography, drawing and painting. In this presentation, Chernysheva discusses her artistic practice in the context of Russia today, and screens several of her videos, including The Train (2003), in which the director’s camera traverses the cars of an intercity Moscow train and surveys its travelers and their activities, and her newest video, Untitled: After Sengai (2008), in which a young woman’s repeated drawing of three Sengai symbols encapsulates the relationship between performance and reality.

A graduate from Moscow Cinema Academy (1986) and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1996), Chernysheva uses various mediums to engage with the long history of Russian art. She explores the theme of the earth and the people as inseparable from the search for humanity and truth. Her engagement with realism and poetics are traits her work specifically shares with that of early Soviet filmmaker Alexander Dovzhenko (The Earth, 1930). Organized by Sally Berger.

October 27: An Evening with Bruce LaBruce
Otto, or Up with Dead People (2007). Germany/Canada. Directed by Bruce LaBruce. With Jaty Christer, Katharina Kleiwinghaus, Gio Black Peter, Susanne Sachsse. Courtesy Strand Releasing. 95 min.

This is an advance premiere of LaBruce’s latest feature filmmaking foray into exuberant gender—and genre—bending. Otto, suddenly undead, finds himself on the “highway of life” to Berlin, where he is discovered by an independent filmmaker who enlists her brother and her girlfriend to make an “epic political-porno-zombie” movie.

Bruce LaBruce, whose lively, gay-themed feature narratives such as No Skin Off My Ass (1992), Hustler White (1996), and The Raspberry Reich (2004) helped establish and affirm the punk Homocore movement, makes films with an aggressively light touch. Based in Toronto and a co-creator of the ’zine J.D.s, LaBruce brings an energetically cartoonish vision to his films, transforming their radicality into provocative entertainment. Organized by Laurence Kardish.

November 3: An Evening with Susan Hiller, The Last Silent Movie
The Last Silent Movie brings attention to the unvisited, silent archives of extinct and endangered languages through a composition of voices that resiliently continue to speak. The work sets free some of the ghosts haunting the unacknowledged “unheimlich” of musty sound recordings, which bring back to life the words and voices of people mostly now dead. In The Last Silent Movie, some voices sing, some tell stories, some recite vocabulary lists and some, directly or indirectly, accuse us—the listeners—of injustice. The American-born, London-based Hiller works with installation, video, photography, performance, and writing. She describes her art as a kind of "archaeological investigation, uncovering something to make a different kind of sense of it." Organized by Barbara London.

November 17: An Evening with Pipilotti Rist
In anticipation of the opening of the exhibition Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters), a monumental commission for the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium which will be on view from November 19, 2008 through February 2, 2009, the artist takes part in a conversation with Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator of Media, to discuss her video, sound, and sculptural installations. Many of Rist’s earliest videos were made for the experimental, post-punk pop band Les Reines Prochaines, of which she was a prominent member in the mid-1980s. These single-channel works, which fit between home movies and music videos, drew upon television, advertising, and feminist art history. In the early 1990s, she began experimenting with various forms of electronic media, resulting in installations that mined the strong, subconscious associations with the body. In 2005 Rist was the Swiss representative to the 51st Venice Biennale, where she presented Homo sapiens sapiens, 2005, an expansive video projected onto the ceiling of the San Stae church, Venice. For her upcoming installation in MoMA’s atrium, the artist is re-envisioning the architecture and use of the atrium by creating a lush, immersive landscape shaped by images, sound and sculptural elements. Organized by Klaus Biesenbach.

November 24: An Evening with Filmmakers from the series Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
For the third consecutive year, MoMA's Department of Film, in collaboration with Independent Feature Project (IFP) and its quarterly publication Filmmaker, will screen the five nominees for the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award. Senior members of the Filmmaker editorial staff and Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator in MoMA’s Department of Film will select this year’s nominees. The five nominees represent this year's best American independent films on the festival circuit that have yet to be picked up for theatrical distribution. Past nominees have included Goran Dukic’s Wristcutters-—A Love Story, So Yong Kim’s In Between Days, and Ronald Bronstein’s Frownland. This Modern Mondays event brings together all five nominees for a panel discussion, illustrated with film clips. The four-day film program Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You runs from November 20 through 24 at MoMA. Organized by Josh Siegel.

December 1: Early music videos by David Bowie, introduced by Thurston Moore
A screening of music videos of the innovative musician, actor, producer, arranger, and audio engineer David Bowie is held on the occasion of the artist’s recent gift of music videos to the museum. For many of his videos, Bowie collaborated with the photographer and filmmaker Mick Rock, best known for his images of 1970s glam-rock icons such as Iggy Pop, Queen, the Ramones, Lou Reed, and the Sex Pistols. Thurston Moore, of the “no wave” band Sonic Youth introduces and emcees the program, which takes place in conjunction with Looking at Music, an exhibition by curator Barbara London that explores music’s role in the interdisciplinary experimentation of the 1960s, when a dynamic cross-fertilization was taking place among music, video, installation, and what was known as “mixed media” art. Looking at Music is on view in the Museum’s Yoshiko and Akio Morita Gallery through January 5, 2009. Organized by Barbara London.

December 8: An Evening with Lonnie van Brummelen
Monument of Sugar: How to Use Artistic Means to Elude Trade Barriers (2007), 67 min., The Netherlands, 16mm, B&W, silent. Lonnie van Brummelen, Director; made in collaboration with Siebren de Haan. The program is presented in collaboration with Apexart International Residency program.

Lonnie van Brummelen (Soest, The Netherlands) discusses her recent sculptural piece and 16mm film Monument of Sugar: How to Use Artistic Means to Elude Trade Barriers (2007), which explores subsidized economy, the globalized sugar market, and how artistic practice can disrupt and reverse economic policies. Upon the discovery of anti-competitive policies set by the European Union to protect its native sugar production, and the detrimental impact of this on other countries, van Brummelen and frequent collaborator Siebren de Haan staged an intervention. Their goal was to work around EU restrictions on sugar importation by turning European sugar dumped into Nigeria into sculptures, and returning it as an artistic product: a Monument of Sugar.

Van Brummelen studied art at Rietveld Academy and Rijks Academy in Amsterdam, and Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Initially trained as a painter, van Brummelen began working with film at the end of the 1990’s. Since 2001 she has collaborated with de Haan on thought provoking site-specific exhibition projects and essays. Van Brummelen's works have shown widely in Europe and Asia and is represented in the 2008 Shanghai Biennale. Organized by Sally Berger.

December 15: An Evening with Anthony McCall
The central formal element underlying Anthony McCall's fusion of sculpture and cinema is durational structure. Tonight, the seminal artist of avant garde cinema will discuss his recent projects within the context of his early work, expanding on the idea of durational drawing (in 2008 he re-enacted the 1974 work Five-Minute Drawing at the artist-run exhibition space Orchard), which has been influenced by the music score, flow chart, storyboard, and architectural projection. His ‘solid-light’ installations are always initially developed through drawing; he also does the reverse, producing studies after a work has been realized. McCall will discuss the relationship between the drawn line and the projection beam—representations of time and volumetric form on paper. Organized by Barbara London.

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