January 22, 2008 - The Museum of Modern Art, New York - Jan De Cock
January 22, 2008

Jan De Cock

Jan De Cock. Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008. Diptych 2, module CCCXXVI, Module CCCXXVII. Chromogenic color prints. Copyright Photo Atelier Jan De Cock. Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters and Luis Campaña Gallery

Jan De Cock
Denkmal 11, 
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008
Exhibition organized by Roxana Marcoci, Curator, Department of Photography
January 23 – April 14, 2008

www.moma.org

ARTIST JAN DE COCK TO CREATE FLOOR-TO-CEILING PHOTOGRAPHIC AND SCULPTURAL INSTALLATION AT MoMA FOR FIRST UNITED STATES MUSEUM EXHIBITION

The Museum of Modern Art presents Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008, Jan De Cock’s (Belgian, born 1976) first museum exhibition in the United States. De Cock, whose work has been the subject of critically acclaimed exhibitions throughout Europe during the last five years, has to date created thousands of images of sites and monuments, compiling them into large volumes which he calls denkmals, the German word for monuments. The exhibition is on view in The Robert and Joyce Menschel Gallery, third floor, from January 23 through April 14, 2008.

The title Denkmal 11 refers to the Museum’s location at 11 West 53 Street. For this exhibition, the artist photographed works in MoMA’s collection, the Museum’s architecture, and spaces within the building such as the conservation labs, frame shop, library, and film theater. These color and black-and-white images are juxtaposed with images the artist has culled from the history of photography, architecture, and film, resulting in a kaleidoscopic portrait of MoMA through an interdisciplinary lens of references. In his signature encyclopedic style, hundreds of the artist’s photographs and photomontages will be hung from floor to ceiling and will be complemented by both free-standing and wall-mounted plywood sculptures informed by the aesthetic of early twentieth-century Constructivism and 1960s Minimalism.

The exhibition launches De Cock’s year-long American Odyssey project. Following Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008, at MoMA, the artist intends to take the images from the installation and display them at landmarks across the United States—including Jackson Pollock’s studio in East Hampton, New York; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; the Everglades, Florida; and the Grand Canyon, Arizona. De Cock will photographically document each installation throughout his travels, generating a potentially endless atlas of images within images that will be the subject of his fourth volume.

Ms. Marcoci states, “In addition to the German definition, the word denkmal in Flemish incorporates two meanings: denk, which signifies ‘think,’ and mal, which translates as ‘mold.’ For De Cock, a denkmal is a mold for thought. De Cock’s freely associative approach to image-making and non-linear display seems to ask, ‘What is the most important thing that remains: the images or a way of looking?’ His work underscores the idea that there is no closure or definitiveness in the interpretation of the history of modern art.”

Influenced by experimental European cinema, chiefly by Jean-Luc Godard’s collage film Histoire(s) du cinema (1988–98), and the protocinematic work of photographer Eadweard J. Muybridge, De Cock’s installation offers a multi-faceted view into the lineages of modernism. Shooting at the Museum in the summer of 2007, De Cock used two cameras—an analog Sinar and a digital Hasselblad—serially and from different angles, in a filmic manner. He focused on works in the collection by such artists as Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Broodthaers, Edward Hopper, Donald Judd, Kazimir Malevich, Muybridge, Lyubov Popova, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Andy Warhol. The resulting works comprise single images, diptychs, and triptychs that incorporate De Cock’s use of repetitive framing devices, extreme close-ups,
and fragmentation.

De Cock made his museum debut at S.M.A.K., Ghent, in 2002, followed by a series of critically acclaimed exhibitions at De Appel, Amsterdam (2003); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2004); Manifesta 5, San Sebastián (2004); Tate Modern, London (2005); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2005); and Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2006).

To read an interview by the curator with the artist, please visit the Museum’s Web site at www.moma.org/jandecock

The exhibition is supported by the Society of Friends of Belgium in America.

For press inquiries, please contact Kim Donica at 212/708-9752 or kim_donica@moma.org

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