Projects 101: Rabih Mroué

21 — 22 Apr 2015 at the MoMA in New York, United States

7 APRIL 2015
Young Yasser Mroué playing the guitar. From Rabih Mroué, Riding on a Cloud, 2013.
Young Yasser Mroué playing the guitar. From Rabih Mroué, Riding on a Cloud, 2013.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce the relaunch of the renowned Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series, beginning in April 2015. Initiated by MoMA in 1971 as a platform for new and experimental art, Projects will now take place at both MoMA and MoMA PS1, providing a wider forum for some of the most urgent international voices in contemporary art.

Projects relaunches with Projects 101: Rabih Mroué, a live performance created by the Lebanese artist, actor, and theater director Rabih Mroué (b. 1967). Performed on April 21 and 22 in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater at MoMA, it will feature the U.S. premiere of Riding on a Cloud, a theater piece that the artist based on his brother Yasser Mroué’s personal experiences in the aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War. The performance combines prerecorded video and live spoken word in a parafictional meditation on the relationship between lived experience and representation. Performed by Yasser himself, this poetic mixture of fact and fiction deconstructs biography, questions our relationship to images, and examines the difference between political reality and memory. On April 21, Mroué will join writer and translator Omar Berrada for a conversation following the performance.

Currently living in Beirut and Berlin, Mroué works in both the visual and performing arts and has exhibited at numerous venues internationally, including Documenta 13 (2012), the 11th International Istanbul Biennial (2009), the 2009 Sharjah Biennial, and the 2006 Biennale of Sydney. His work Blow Ups (2012), which investigates the use of cellular phones in documenting the Syrian revolution, is currently on view at MoMA in Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection. Projects 101 is organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Martha Joseph, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

Projects 102 will be a new installation by Paris-based multimedia artist Neïl Beloufa, organized by Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA. Opening in February 2016 at MoMA, Beloufa’s installation will combine moving-image media and sculpture to create a custom-built architectonic viewing space that mimics the modularity through which mass culture and digital information systems are produced and distributed. Beloufa (French, b. 1985) is a French-Algerian artist who received his Visual Arts National Diploma at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2007), and studied at Cooper Union, New York, and Cal Arts, Valencia. His recent solo exhibitions include the ICA London (2014), the Banff Centre (2014), the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013), and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as the 2014 Taipei Biennial, the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and the 2012 Paris Triennial.

Projects 103 will be a sculptural ensemble by Berlin-based Georgian artist Thea Djordjadze. Organized by Paulina Pobocha, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA, it will be presented at MoMA PS1 in April 2016. Djordjadze makes abstract sculptures using basic construction materials such as plaster, wood, wire lath, metal rods, glass, and fabric. She works intuitively but employs a vocabulary studded with references to modernist architecture and industrial design. Typically, her finished works evoke familiar functional objects rendered useless by time and neglect, or debris scavenged from buildings that have fallen apart. For her Project at MoMA PS1, Djordjadze will create an installation that responds to the specifically American architectural vernacular of the MoMA PS1 building. Djordjadze (b. 1971) has had recent solo exhibitions at MIT List Center for the Visual Arts, MA, (2014), the Aspen Art Museum (2013), Konsthall Malmo (2012), The Common Guild, Glasgow (2011), and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO (2011). Djordjadze represented Georgia at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and also participated in Documenta 13 in 2012. In June 2015, she will participate in the 56th Venice Biennale.