Thursday, February 09, 2012

Better Red than Misinformed

Back in 2010, Yevgeniy Fiks led a guerrilla, unsanctioned "Communist Tour of MoMA" with the stated purpose of connecting "the history of Modern Art to history of the 20th century Communist movement." Barry Hoggard and James Wagner documented the clandestine tour on their blogs.

The tour was the sort of open-minded, honest look at the wider sociopolitical landscape of 20th Century art history that was hard to imagine taking place in MoMA not all that long ago:
During the McCarthy Era, Modern Art became the subject of the media and the government’s anti-communist witch-hunt. In his 1949 speech, Michigan U.S. Congressman George A. Dondero called Modern Art subversive, communistic and a weapon in the hands of the Communist conspiracy and the Soviet Union. He named the Museum of Modern Art a site of Communist infiltration. In response to these allegations, MoMA’s curator Alfred H. Barr, Jr. discursively separated artists from their artworks by stating that, “We (MoMA) are not exhibiting the artists, but their works. And the artist’s political believes are personal matters, distinct from his work, which should be judged on its merits.”
But in 2012, when the Soviet Union is a fading memory and even China is arguably more Capitalist in many ways than most of the rest of the world, such reluctance to recognize that the ideas behind Communism were viewed as worthy of consideration (and not simply innately "evil") by many of the great minds of the 20th century, including artists, seems to have faded.

In other words, it seems the historical truth is safe, now that we won the Cold War.

Hence, we are very pleased to announce that this time, it's official!

Next Wednesday, Yevgeniy is leading another tour, with MoMA's blessing:

Lectures & Gallery Talks | Adult Programs
Communist Tour of MoMA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, Artist Yevgeniy Fiks leads a performative tour of the exhibition Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art and other artworks in the Museum’s collection as part of a discussion of modern artists’ leftist politics.

Carolina Miranda sets the historical context and connects the dots between Yevgeniy's performance and the Rivera exhibition in the current issue of ArtNEWS (pdf file).

Hope to see you there!

Photo by Stamatina Gregory.

Labels: gallery artists, performance art


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eventually All Artist must make the choice between the Blue and Red Pill. Most of The Great ones Popped the Red Pill and made a Boatload of Money.Thats a very tough Proposition.

2/09/2012 12:18:00 PM  

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