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Music at the MoMA

20 Mar 2011

At MoMA through June 6 is the exhibition Looking at Music 3.0. It explores music’s influence on contemporary art (and vice versa) during the 80s and 90s in NY. Dim lighting, gaudy neon walls, and early music videos blasting on the large screen in the middle of the gallery: it’s almost as though you’ve returned to the time of boom boxes and mix tapes. Social and political issues are mentioned briefly in the exhibit copy—but there are many topics touched upon in this relatively small space, so don’t expect a thorough history lesson. Art and music are loosely grouped by topics such as ‘early hip hop’ but, fittingly, neither chronology nor subject dictate the layout of the exhibition in an obvious way.

Above, a place to sit and watch the music videos. There were only a few in the loop, to discourage lingering I’d imagine. What they may not have realized is that people would stay quite awhile to watch Grace Jones. Also, listening stations throughout the exhibition (below, left) and an interactive media installation by Perry Holberman (right)…

You can read more about the process of creating the exhibit in this Listening to Art blog post.

Bonus pics below of the entrance to Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914, an exhibition of 70 collages, constructions, drawings, mixed-media paintings, and photographs. On view through June 6 and definitely worth seeing.

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