Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oppenheim at MoMA

This past Sunday, August 1st, The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today opened to the public at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, curated by Roxana Marcoci, brings together over 300 photographs, magazines, and journals, by more than 100 artists, from the dawn of modernism to the present. The broad collection of work surveys the ways in which photography at once informs and challenges the meaning of what sculpture is.

The exhibition includes two early Oppenheim photographic documentations of Land Art (
Annual Rings, 1968) and Body Art (Parallel Stress, 1970) as part of "The Performing Body as Sculptural Object," utilizing the role of photography in the intersection of performance and sculpture as context.

Annual Rings, which is part of the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection, captures the juxtaposition of man-made national and temporal boundaries through a schemata of tree growth rings enlarged and transposed into the snow. The rings overlap and intersect the U.S.A./Canadian border, crossing both political boundaries and time zones and thus questioning these ordering systems .
Parallel Stress documents a ten minute performance from May 1970. The photographs capture Oppenheim's greatest stress position prior to collapse while positioned suspended on a masonry-block wall and collapsed concrete pier between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and then the position resumed at an abandoned sump on Long Island. Parallel Stress is on loan for the exhibition from the artist.

"The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today" will be at the Museum of Modern Art from August 1st to November 2nd.