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The Museum of Modern Art New York Announces Grand Openings Return of the Blogs


Starting July 20, the New York–based artist collective Grand Openings presents 13 days of performance in The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium and throughout the Museum. Inviting collaborators such as musicians, performance-art scholars, sound artists, filmmakers, writers, and friends, the group is composing a multifaceted live program that relates to the history of performance art in general as well as MoMA’s particular institutional structure. Some sections are informed by encounters with the Museum’s archives, current exhibitions, architecture, and staff; others are indirect meditations on the practice of performing itself. The title of the program, Grand Openings Return of the Blogs, refers to an additional documentary element of the work—a daily account of the actions in the form of handwritten texts, fabricated objects, and audio podcasts—which will be presented in the gallery space and on

Grand Openings consists of five core members—Ei Arakawa, Jutta Koether, Jay Sanders, Emily Sundblad, and Stefan Tcherepnin—with different backgrounds in art, music, curating, and criticism. The collective’s mise-en-scènes comprise partly scripted and partly improvised actions, loose choreographies, musical scores, and acts of self-reflection that all coexist in a chaotic structure. Since its inception in 2005, the collective has appeared at Performa05 (New York, 2005), Magical Artroom (Tokyo, 2006), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (Niigata Prefecture, Japan, 2006), MUMOK (Vienna, 2008), Bumbershoot (Seattle, 2008), Art Basel Statements (Basel, 2009), SculptureCenter (New York, 2009), and Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm, 2010).

By inviting an artist collective rather than an individual artist to restart MoMA’s performance program, the Museum directs its focus to the changing relationship between institutions and performance art. A practice that was once conceived as a critique of the static, commodified art object created by a sole author is now embraced by major museums and a focus of their programs. How do institutions and their audiences engage with this formerly emancipatory movement that once existed to seek new methods and channels for art? How do younger generations of artists respond to this legacy? And in what ways do artists negotiate the inherent tension between the original live performance and its representation in different media? Grand Openings’ practice relates to these questions in an idiosyncratic way and opens them up for new discussion.

More information on MoMA’s performance program and a detailed schedule are available at

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