THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART PRESENTS NEW YORK PREMIERE OF MARK BOULOS VIDEO INSTALLATION ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR
Projects 97: Mark Boulos
March 19–July 16, 2012
Projects Gallery, second floor
NEW YORK, March 6, 2012—The Museum of Modern Art presents Projects 97: Mark Boulos, the New York premiere of the artist’s video installation All That Is Solid Melts into Air (2008), on view March 19 through July 16, 2012.
In his documentary video installations, Mark Boulos (b. 1975, United States) investigates the space between abstract concepts and material reality. The two-channel video installation All That Is Solid Melts into Air juxtaposes two communities at opposite ends of the world, each struggling to control petroleum. One video depicts floor brokers in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading petroleum contracts during the first days of the financial crisis in 2008. The other presents footage from the artist’s experience living among Nigerian fishermen, members of the militant organization Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who live in one of the largest oil fields in the world. Fighting to alleviate the poverty of the population, the guerilla group violently battles the exploitation of the natural environment. The conflict between the guerillas and national government, which benefits from its contracts with international corporations, has escalated over the past few decades. Simultaneously, the local residents compete for the resource by seizing it directly from pipelines. For the brokers, on the other hand, who never see or touch the substance, oil is a virtual commodity with quasi-mystical properties.
Inspired by the potential for a more equal distribution of the world’s wealth, Boulos has titled the installation after a passage from the Communist Manifesto (1848), by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in which the authors condemn the capitalist system and its detrimental effects on the working class and social relations at large.
Projects 97 is organized by Cara Starke, former Assistant Curator at MoMA and current Director of Exhibitions at Creative Time, and Stephanie Weber, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art. The Elaine Dannheisser Projects series is coordinated by Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director, The Museum of Modern Art.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mark Boulos lives and works in Amsterdam and London. He received a BA in philosophy from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, in 1998, and an MA in film and television, documentary direction, from the National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield, England, in 2005. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum (2011); Ar-Ge Kunst, Bolzano, Italy (2010); and Stedelijk Museum, CS, Amsterdam (2008). He was also included in group exhibitions at the Sundance Film Festival (2011); Berlin Biennale (2010); Center for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (2009); Biennial of Sydney, Australia (2008); and Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2004).
Modern Mondays: An Evening with Mark Boulos, March 19, 7:00 p.m.
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2
In conjunction with the exhibition Projects 97: Mark Boulos, artist and filmmaker Mark Boulos (American, b. 1975), will discuss his practice. Boulos’s work explores beliefs that are held with such transcendent fervor that they are capable of transforming one’s perception of the world.
Focusing on political and religious conviction, he investigates the processes through which ideas take material form in day-to-day society. Using this approach, Boulos has conducted firsthand research by observing such radical political organizations as the Philippine revolutionary New People’s Army and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
Modern Mondays is made possible by Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro. Additional support is provided by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Cara Starke is currently the Director of Exhibitions at Creative Time. As Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, at MoMA, from 2005 to 2011, she co-organized Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception (2011), Projects 93: Dinh Q. Lê (2010), and William Kentridge: Five Themes (2010). She also collaborated on numerous other exhibitions, including Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters) (2008), Take your time: Olafur Eliasson (2008), Doug Aitken: sleepwalkers (2007), and Douglas Gordon: Timeline (2006). Ms. Starke received an MA in art history from Williams College.
Stephanie Weber, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, joined the Museum in 2010. Ms. Weber has collaborated on several exhibitions, including Projects 93: Dinh Q. Lê (2010), Looking at Music 3.0 (2011), and Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception (2011). Ms. Weber received an MA in history of art, french literature and linguistics, and cultural studies (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster/Germany, 2004) and a postgraduate degree in Museum Studies from Ecole du Louvre in Paris (2005).
The Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series is made possible in part by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.