NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
opened Artists Choice: Yto BarradaA Raft, an exhibition of works from MoMAs collection selected by Barrada (b. 1971), an artist known for her multidisciplinary investigations of cultural phenomena and historical narratives. On view from May 8, 2021, to January 9, 2022, the exhibition brings together works in two galleries, one on the fourth floor and one on the fifth floor, connected by their own staircase, highlighting over 60 works from MoMAs collection.
In this latest edition of MoMAs Artists Choice exhibition series, Barrada gathers works from the Museums collection that resonate with the ideas and work of the French social work pioneer and writer Fernand Deligny (19131996). Barradas exploration centers on Delignys work from the late 1960s, when he lived together with other volunteers and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in an informal network in rural France; this was an attempt to create a new way of living outside language, adapted for the nonverbal children. Deligny called this network a raft, envisioning it as lightweight and maneuverable and requiring constant maintenancean alternative to the cargo ships of the psychiatric institutions. Particularly resonant today, Delignys emancipatory ideas are being rediscovered widely, by philosophers, psychoanalysts, anthropologists, filmmakers, and artists.
Renewed interest in Delignys lifes work is largely due to his publishers Sandra Alvarez de Toledo and Anaïs Masson, Barradas longtime friends with whom she has collaborated closely on this exhibition. For Barrada, Delignys search for new maps and modes of being represent a vital heritage for artists. In bringing together selected works by artists including Anni Albers, Vito Acconci, Louise Bourgeois, Lygia Clark, David Hammons, and Bruce Nauman with films, maps, writings, and photographs that document Delignys revolutionary project, Barrada invites audiences to consider art in relationship to language, in ways that might inspire beyond the exhibition.
Artists Choice: Yto BarradaA Raft will be accompanied by a MoMA Virtual Cinema program, Carte Blanche: Yto BarradaA Raft, June 322. The films in this program were selected by Yto Barrada for their connection to the ideas and work of French social work pioneer and writer Fernand Deligny.
Artists Choice: Yto BarradaA Raft is organized by Yto Barrada with Lucy Gallun, Associate Curator, and River Encalada Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography.