Greater New York is MoMA PS1’s sprawling project constituting its third state-of-the-union address on contemporary art in New York that the institution undertakes every five years. Fortunately for visitors and locals alike it continues throughout the summer and early autumn, which is a very good idea because it is a huge undertaking. Even the most dedicated contemporary art fan would find it difficult to take in all it has to offer in one or two days.
It includes approximately 70 artists currently living and working in the New York metropolitan area. Unlike certain other metropolitan conurbations, New York has always had a reputation for assimilation; choosing to see those who move to the city as New Yorkers sooner rather than later. Greater New York operates from a similar largesse, choosing to see artists who live and work in the city –whether American or technically foreign- as valid contributors to the city’s arts culture. And, as such, it has an international air with a keen sense for the local situation and sense of specificity.
Many of the works are being shown for the first time, including a number of large-scale installation works. Incorporating everything from more traditional exhibition formats to events, discussions and performances, the Greater New York project sees MoMA PS1 using the project as a timely opportunity to also bring outside curatorial voices from project spaces, independent organisations and artists’ initiatives into the mix, which it has arranged as a number of strands.
5 Year Review uses the first floor painting galleries at MoMA PS1 as a platform to showcase some of the most important exhibitions, performances, concerts, movies, fashion, design, happenings, and events to have taken place within the city limits in the last five years. Eschewing the impossible task of being a comprehensive history, it is an intuitive and impressionistic glance through the eyes of the invited curators.
The building also houses the Rotating Gallery project that sees a group of invited curators changing the presentation on a five-week cycle and inviting other curatorial voices to enter into the open-ended discussion.
A cinema in the vault level of the building (programmed by Light Industry), a publication and an evolving blog constitute the other three elements of this project that aims to give, if not a comprehensive view of the current New York art scene and its precursory players, then at least a 3-D impression of what it’s all about.