MoMA’s Atrium Set as Theatrical Stage for the Summer

MoMA’s Atrium Set as Theatrical Stage for the Summer


Adam Pendleton will transform the Museum of Modern Art’s atrium this summer into a theatrical stage set framed by three 60-foot-tall scaffolds displaying his work. The 36-year-old artist’s multimedia installation is titled “Who Is Queen?” and will be on view from July 25 through Oct. 4, with live daily events surrounded by text-based paintings, mobiles, video portraits and sound pieces exploring his concept of “Black Dada.”

“It’s looking at blackness as an open-ended idea, not just related to race but in relationship to politics, to art, specifically to the avant-garde,” said Mr. Pendleton, who for his roster of readings, lectures and musical performances has enlisted people including the civil rights activist Ruby Sales, the poet Susan Howe and the cultural theorist Judith Butler.

For each day of the exhibition, during hours with no live performance, Mr. Pendleton is creating a unique and dissonant sound collage, layering audio material of artists and curators, culled from MoMA’s archives, with hip-hop music, for instance, or recordings of Black Lives Matter protests.

Discussing the title of his show, Mr. Pendleton said, “‘Queen’ could be a derogatory or loving name for a gay man,” adding that he remembered being called this once and resented having to decide whether to reject or embrace it. “That’s at the heart of ‘Queen’ — this idea of who we are, in personal but also collective terms.”



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