September 20, 2017 - Project Arts Centre - The Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) – A Proposal
September 20, 2017

Project Arts Centre

Olav Westphalen, In an ill-conceived homage to Yves Klein, Paul McCarthy jumps out of a second story window and breaks his leg (ca.1967), 2017. Clay.

The Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) – A Proposal
Olav Westphalen with Agnieszka Polska, Sally O’Reilly, Roee Rosen, and Gernot Wieland
September 1–October 21, 2017

Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar
Dublin
Ireland

projectartscentre.ie
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

The Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) – A Proposal
Olav Westphalen with Agnieszka Polska, Sally O’Reilly, Roee Rosen, and Gernot Wieland
September 1–October 21, 2017

Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar
Dublin
Ireland

projectartscentre.ie
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

The Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) – A Proposal is either an artwork in the guise of a speculative museum, or a museum dressed up as a contemporary installation. Which of these it will turn out to be remains to be seen.

The modern avant-garde is commonly defined as a series of groundbreaking, heroic and grave departures. By contrast, the Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) posits that the avant-garde could just as well be understood as comedy, albeit a secretive or obtuse form of comedy. MoMCo is dedicated to highlighting, researching and mediating the hidden, comedic aspects of modern and contemporary art. The classical notion of reckless, avant-garde bravado has been largely debunked, not least for its implicit sexism and open Eurocentrism. But the underlying comedic mechanisms deserve re-examination as they still have the potential to profoundly reframe art, reality, our perception of ourselves and others, and the world we so awkwardly share. They may still represent the best shot we have at radical imagination and true innovation.

MoMCo aspires to act on three, interconnected planes: as an art historical institution amending the conventional record on avant-garde achievements; as a future collection of modernist art works; and as a curatorial initiative, hosting temporary exhibitions, dedicated to tracing the complex and veiled genealogies, from comedic modernism to contemporary art. For this first exhibition, MoMCo is presented in the form of a tentative historical chart and a series of clay figurines depicting key-moments in bona fide art history.

Furthermore, MoMCo is proud to present Resuscitations, its first exhibition of contemporary art, comprising video works by Agnieszka Polska (Poland), Roee Rosen (Israel), Sally O'Reilly (UK), Gernot Wieland (Austria/Germany), and Olav Westphalen (Germany/USA). Jointly curated by Lívia Páldi and MoMCo founder Olav Westphalen, the works readjust accepted legacies and evolutionary historical narratives, each in its own way and from within its specific cultural, political and discursive context. Playfully and deadpan, the selected works break down modernist agreements on the protocols and systems of referencing and classifying art. The films engage with inherent questions of artistic production, spectatorship, materiality, value, and constructs of verbal and visual power. They work through hybridised narratives, appropriating and subverting references to modernity, in order to explore the conditions under which art can challenge stereotypes and the inadequacies and paradoxes of prevailing hierarchies, in order to articulate new propositions.

The Museum of Modern Comedy in Art (MoMCo) – A Proposal was commissioned by Project Arts Centre and supported by an IMMA Production Residency and Konstnärsnämnden / The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Project Arts Centre is generously supported by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Dublin City Council.

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