Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MoMA Becomes a Drive-In


Last nite marked the debut of the public showing of artist/director Doug Aitken’s new film, “Sleepwalkers”. What made this screening unique is that it was projected after-hours on the exterior walls of MoMA for all the public to see (as it will be every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. for 28 consecutive days), turning 53rd & 54th streets into a sort of drive-in theater for a city on foot (thanks to Creativetime, the public art think tank which curated and secured funding for the film).

In “Sleepwalkers,” five short interconnected films tell the story of one night in the lives of five New Yorkers, played by Donald Sutherland, Tilda Swinton, Cat Power, Seu Jorge, and newcomer Ryan Donowho, that Aitken met in the subway. The director has called this project a “silent film for the 21st century.” MoMA’s director estimates that it will be the most-seen show in the museum’s history.

A 38-year-old wunderkind, Aiken is no art world newbie. His credits include winning the International Prize at the Venice Biennale, and has shown at the Whitney and the Pompidou in Paris, along with more mainstream projects like directing music videos for Interpol and Fatboy Slim. A proponent of non-liner art and narratives, “Sleepwalkers,” like his many other works, was not constructed to specifically “tell” the viewer anything. “I don’t want to tell you a story and give you a conclusion,” he explains. “I want an open exchange and a reflection of your own way of living.” For those resilient enough to brave the cold of a New York City nite, that pleasure can be had for free…

This thing sounds pretty cool. I'm going to have to check it out next time I'm uptown, which'll be Thursday I guess. Look for more comments then!

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