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The Museum of Modern Art appoints Stuart Comer Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art
Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art. Photo by Daniel Terna / Light Industry.

NEW YORK, NY.- Stuart Comer has been appointed Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, it was announced today by MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. Mr. Comer, who has served as Curator of Film at Tate Modern, London, since 2004, will oversee the department's program of special exhibitions, installations from the collection, and acquisitions. He will begin his new position at MoMA on September 23.

"Stuart will bring a keen interest in and knowledge of contemporary practice that spans the hybrid nature of media and performance," said Mr. Lowry. "With his energetic exploration of relationships between art and the moving image, between contemporary practice and the history of modernism, Stuart will make a significant contribution to MoMA's efforts to exhibit, collect, and interpret the art of our time."

"Artists working across time-based media—from performance to the moving image and all of the many permutations in between—continue to push and reshape artistic practice in fundamentally challenging and exciting ways," said Mr. Comer. "I look forward to exploring this dynamic field and its rich history by continuing the development and exhibition of MoMA's distinguished collection. MoMA has become a leading institution redefining the role of media and performance in the museum, and this will be an exciting opportunity to further develop its programs in collaboration with artists, audiences, and colleagues."

Mr. Comer is a co-curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art 2014 Biennial, and will be working with both institutions concurrently until next March.

One of MoMA’s six curatorial departments, the Department of Media and Performance Art collects, exhibits, and preserves time-based art, and holds a collection of more than 1,700 works of moving image installations, single-channel video, performance and documentary evidence, motion- and sound-based works, and other works that represent time or duration and are made for and presented in a gallery setting.

As Curator of Film, Mr. Comer managed film and video work for the Tate Collection and Displays, was co-curator of the opening program for The Tanks at Tate Modern, and organized an extensive program of screenings, performances, and events.

He established the film program as a major component of the curatorial program at
Tate, presenting surveys of many key international artists working with film and video
and highlighting overlooked artists and histories as well as work by emerging artists.
Among the ambitious live film and projection projects he organized in Tate Modern's
Turbine Hall included those by Tony Conrad, Nan Goldin, Barbara Hammer, Derek
Jarman, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Daria Martin & Zeena Parkins, Shuji Terayama, Throbbing Gristle, and Jennifer West. Mr. Comer was co-curator in 2012 of the 15-week opening festival of live and time-based media for the Tanks, Tate Modern's major new space housed in former oil tanks, whose conversion was designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & DeMeuron.

He also oversaw film and video for Tate's Collection, overseeing acquisitions of many key historical and contemporary works by artists such as Ant Farm, Cory Arcangel, Charles Atlas, Peter Campus, Oskar Fischinger, Jack Goldstein, Mike Kelley, KwieKulik, Jonas Mekas, Paul McCarthy, Lis Rhodes, Allan Sekula, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Akram Zaatari.

From 2002 until 2004, Mr. Comer was Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Modern, and previously held positions at the Institute of Visual Culture in Cambridge and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In 2007, he was co-curator of the Lyon Biennial.

He has participated in symposia, talks, and events at numerous international venues, sits on the Board of Directors for Film London, and has been a member of juries for CPH:DOX 2012, the 2010 Venice Film Festival, the 2006 BFI Sutherland Trophy at the The Times BFI 50th London Film Festival, the International Jury for the Oberhausen 52nd International Short Film Festival 2006, the inaugural Derek Jarman Award for artists’ film and video in 2008, and the inaugural Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize in 2009.

Among his recent freelance curatorial projects are Studio for Red Hook Journal, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Andy, as you know I am writing a movie… at Beirut Art Center; The Young and Evil for; An American Family at Kunstverein Munich and CASCO, Utrecht; America’s Most Wanted for The Artists’ Cinema at Frieze Art Fair, London; and Double Lunar Trouble at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.

Mr. Comer has contributed to numerous periodicals, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, Mousse, Parkett, and Art Review. He is editor of Film and Video Art (Tate Publishing, 2009) and has contributed essays to several publications on artists including Tom Burr, Andrea Fraser, David Lamelas, Sharon Lockhart, Mark Morrisroe, Bik Van Der Pol, and Gillian Wearing.

He received a B.A. in Art History from Carleton College in Minnesota, and an M.A. in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.

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