Summer exhibitions and events at MMoCA, featuring Kambui Olujimi, Taking Sides, Digital Aura, Rashaad Newsome, Meg Mitchell, Sonja Thomsen, and Rooftop Cinema.
EXHIBITIONS OTHER EXHIBITIONS DIGITAL AURA • ON VIEW MAY 20–AUGUST 6 MMoCA is proud to collaborate with Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL) on Digital Aura, an exhibition on view in the museum’s Imprint Gallery from May 20 through August 6, and at ALL from May 5 through July 29. The new partnership will add to Madison’s dynamic arts scene by increasing the presentation of digital-based arts throughout the city. are mutually exclusive. Through a combination of sub- assertion that auratic experience and political cinema Curated by Simone Doing and Max Puchalsky of lime imagery, ambient sound, and existential thematic ALL, Digital Aura takes Walter Benjamin’s seminal material, each work evokes a sense of ritualistic awe essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical while engaging in important dialogues of social concern. Reproduction” (1936) as a starting point to explore At MMoCA, the videos screened in the Imprint the concept of aura and how artists are reinventing its Gallery will rotate over the duration of the exhibition, meaning in response to our contemporary digital age. In with each of three artists receiving a three-week solo today’s world of rapid digital proliferation, the possibility of infinite reproduction raises new questions about schedule: Laura Hyunjhee Kim, (Modern) Formations II presentation of their work according to the following how to assign cultural value to digital artworks. Digital (May 20–June 16); Cassils, Inextinguishable Fire (June Aura presents works by Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Cassils, 17–July 14); and Adrián Regnier Chávez, I. (July 15– Adrián Regnier Chávez, and Sanaz Mazinani, whose August 6). At ALL, Sanaz Mazinani’s Threshold will be innovations in digital media challenge Benjamin’s on view from May 5 through July 29. RASHAAD NEWSOME • ON VIEW AUGUST 11–DECEMBER 3 Rashaad Newsome is a New York-based artist whose multidisciplinary practice combines collage, video, music, computer programming, and performance. On view in the museum’s Imprint Gallery, Rashaad Newsome will focus solely on the video-based component of the artist’s larger practice, and highlight works that showcase his engagement with the dance phenomenon of voguing. Although voguing emerged from Harlem’s queer ballroom scene during the 1960s and 70s, the dance style entered the cultural mainstream in 1990 with Madonna’s iconic music video “Vogue,” now remembered as a notorious instance of cultural appropriation. Newsome, however, celebrates the true origins of voguing, thereby reclaiming a vital cultural history by giving it back to the queer Black community from which it arose. The exhibition includes Untitled (2008), Untitled—New Way (2009), ICON (2014), Knot (2014), and Stop Playing in My Face (2016). The works document contemporary vogue culture, weaving together the exuberant pageantry of voguing, the iconography and music associated with contemporary Black popular culture, and digitally rendered backdrops of glittering architectural spaces. Newsome’s videos offer a timely examination of cultural power and agency within the context of gender, sexuality, and race. Generous funding for Rashaad Newsome has been provided by Dane Arts. MMOCA OPENING • AUGUST 11 RECONFIGURED REALITY: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION on view through November 12 in the Henry Street Gallery. Exhibitions in the Henry Street Gallery are generously funded through an endowment established by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. 4 THIS PAGE, TOP: Simone Doing, Digital Aura (project logo), 2017. Courtesy the artist. THIS PAGE, CENTER: Rashaad Newsome, Stop Playing in My Face! (video still), 2016. Single-channel video with sound, 04:02 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery. THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Carl Corey, 2090–At Random, Milwaukee, from the series Tavern League, 2008. Pigment print, 35 x 35 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Anonymous gift. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: Meg Mitchell, Tenacious Numismatic Hops Exchange (TNHE): a hop garden for unyielding people (project logo), 2017. Courtesy the artist. OPPOSITE PAGE, CENTER: Sonja Thomsen, In the Space of Elsewhere (installation detail), 2017. Mixed-media, site-specific installation. Courtesy the artist. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: James Cagle, Domestic Image (Blue Bowl in Chiaroscuro), 2015. Digital pigment print, 12x18 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of the artist.
ART NEWS MEG MITCHELL: TENACIOUS NUMISMATIC HOPS EXCHANGE (TNHE) This spring, MMoCA will erect Meg Mitchell’s living installation in the museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden. Composed of six aluminum beams on a winch system, her massive sculptural installation functions both as a trellis to support the growth and harvesting of hops, and as a platform for social engagement, educational programming, and artistic activity. Combining the visual language of industrial architecture, the socio-economic history of the hop plant, and the conceptual concerns surrounding ownership and control of natural resources, Mitchell’s installation provides a forum to discuss complex contemporary issues. Mitchell, an associate professor of digital media, prioritizes the experiential and participatory over the self-contained, static object. She designed her installation, funded by a gift from MMoCA board member Kathryn Howarth Ryan, specifically for the rooftop. Titled Tenacious Numismatic Hops Exchange (TNHE), part of the work resembles architectural trusses—the rigid building structures used in construction. Hinged at the bottom of the wall and anchored at the top, the trusses can be manually lowered and raised, thereby allowing the Gorst Valley hops to be harvested each autumn and turned into beer. The Hops Exchange harvesting process will become an annual MMoCA tradition, a performative event addressing food as commodity, among other topics. EXHIBITIONS SONJA THOMSEN: IN THE SPACE OF ELSEWHERE LOBBY INSTALLATION Milwaukee-based artist Sonja Thomsen has developed an expansive approach to contemporary photography. In MMoCA’s lobby and Icon, Thomsen will create a site-responsive installation that plays with the way light and shadow interact with the museum’s soaring architectural features. Her thoughtful placement of large-scale photographic murals, mirrored objects, and metallic netting will simultaneously direct and scatter beams of light across the lobby walls and surfaces, delicately interrupting the visual plane of the building’s interior. By using materials that reflect and refract, project and expand, and separate light into its variously colored beams, Thomsen choreographs the movement of light through space. In reference to her artistic practice, she has stated her interest lies in “creating spaces that highlight the inaccessible … There should always be a place for wonder; it is a direct line to new knowledge.” The installation will be on view June 17–November 12. NEW ACQUISITIONS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES CAGLE MMoCA is pleased Art Institute of Chicago, to announce a Harvard University, and major gift from James Yale University. Cagle, who has given Cagle’s photography twenty-five of his photographs to the museum’s highly personal subject is contemporary in its permanent collection. matter and modernist One of the state’s most in its formalist rigor. It noted photographers, captures the ordinary Cagle was represented things of the world and in the 2013 and 2016 delights in their essential geometries, textured Wisconsin Triennials with photographs that number in his bequest. surfaces, and colors. A crumbling Wisconsin cement Cagle is professor emeritus of art at St. Norbert factory poised for demolition, and unnoticed objects College in De Pere, Wisconsin (1963-2007). Taking up and spaces of his apartment complex, are just some of photography later in his career as an artist, he came into the subjects of Cagle’s meditative photographs. He his own when he began shooting with a digital camera in 2008. His photography has been shown at the mally unseen and the spiritual beauty rewards the viewer with the discovery of things nor- therein. 5