One Work, Many Voices

MoMA’s curators, selected staff, and specialist invitees each pick individual works in MoMA’s collection and discuss the particularities of the chosen piece and its relationship to other works housed within the Museum. Several of the works included here entered MoMA’s holdings as a result of Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP), a research initiative begun at the Museum in 2009, which has focused on tracing artistic legacies in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. However, MoMA’s inclusion of works from these regions predates this endeavor, which is something also evinced here. C-MAP’s efforts both to promote a deeper understanding of works already in MoMA’s collection and to instigate a broader perspective on how other geographical histories might relate to MoMA’s context, reflect a history of modern and contemporary art premised on international travel, networks, and connections. 

Encompassing historical as well as contemporary objects in a diversity of mediums, this Theme in effect serves to mimic the structure of a museum’s collection: Artworks created in disparate locales and in different moments in time find themselves in chance adjacency and juxtaposition, prompting reflection on similarities and differences, and deeper investigations of the contexts within which each work of art was produced. This body of objects does not tell one particular story; instead it enables multiple stories to be told, including the inclusion of formerly underrepresented voices, and offers a site for contemplating the difficulties and possibilities of writing a globally-comprehensive history of art.

Memories of Chagga Country: Sam Ntiro

By way of Men Taking Banana Beer to Bride by Night (1956), a painting featured in our “One Work, Many Voices” series, which focuses on individual artworks chosen from MoMA’s collection, art historian Gabriella Nugent highlights the role of memory in Ntiro’s practice. She argues that these memories are a product of distance and thus complicate the frameworks of art history.

Ojeikere: Fleeting and Captured Moments

In 1970, Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere, otherwise known as J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (Nigerian, 1930–2014), made Fro Fro, the point of departure of this short text. Storyteller and lens-based artist Jumoke Sanwo reads this image, produced during Nigeria’s nationalist drive and considers Ojeikere’s subjects and their unapologetic defiance.

El Lento Desvanecimiento: Huellas, Conversaciones y Políticas de la Localización

La serie de seminarios C-MAP de este año, Transversal Orientations, estuvo compuesta por cuatro mesas que tuvieron lugar en Zoom en junio de 2021. Con este texto, Dra. Riánsares Lozano de la Pola responde a las presentaciones y a la conversación posterior que tuvieron lugar en la cuarta y última mesa de la serie de seminarios con Jeannine Tang, Jaanus Samma, e Irmgard Emmelhainz. 

The Ochre People, Reimagined

This year’s C-MAP seminar series, Transversal Orientations, comprised four panels that took place on Zoom in June 2021. In this essay, Dr. Hlonipha Mokoena provides a profound reflection and evocative epilogue to Entangled Terrains, the third panel in the seminar series featuring Sandra Benites, Black Athena Collective, and Chie Ikeya.

Culture as a Weapon of Struggle: The Art of the Medu Poster You Have Struck a Rock (1981)

How do you historicize the events of the dehistoricized? From its inception in 1948, the apartheid regime implemented a system of institutionalized racial segregation against the nonwhite citizens of South Africa. In recent years, a counter narrative has emerged of a group of artists and activists who viewed “culture as a weapon of struggle” against the oppressive policies of the apartheid regime.

“I have to go back to New York. I have no choice”: Interview with Jaime Davidovich (Part 2)

In this interview, recorded a few months before Davidovich’s passing, curator Ana Janevski talks with the Argentine-American artist about his career, his early days in New York City and Cleveland, and his work Tape Wall Project (1970/1988), recently acquired by MoMA. This is the second of two parts. Read the first part of the interview…

Un círculo siempre abierto

En sus películas, la cineasta paraguaya Paz Encina combina ficción y material de archivo, imágenes condensadas y un inusual foco en el sonido, para abordar temas que atraviesan la historia de su país, como la Guerra del Chaco (1932–35), la larga dictadura de Alfredo Stroessner (1954-89), la deforestación masiva, y el desplazamiento de comunidades indígenas.