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A BIT OF MATTER: The MoMA PS1 Archives 1976–2000

  • Thursday, September 07, 2017
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • MoMA PS1, Staff Entrance, 21st St, between 46th Rd. & 46th Ave, Queens, NY 11101
  • 0


Registration is closed

Archivists Round Table & ARLIS/NA New York Chapter present a private viewing and presentation of:

The MoMA PS1 Archives, 1976 –2000

BIT OF MATTER is the largest exhibition of materials from the MoMA Archives ever assembled and the first time records of MoMA PS1 have been exhibited in the historic school building—a landmark cooperative project by the two institutions. Please join us for a private viewing of the exhibition and a presentation by two of the show’s curators, Jonathan Lill and Oliver Schultz. Discussion and light refreshments will follow. 

In 1976, Alanna Heiss invited dozens of artists to create installations in and around this building, which was then an abandoned 19th-century schoolhouse in an industrial area. The resulting exhibition, Rooms, was on view for only three weeks, but became the springboard that launched P.S.1 as a vital center for art and artists. Under Heiss’s leadership, the institution grew into a mainstay of the New York cultural landscape over the following 25 years, eventually merging with The Museum of Modern Art in 2000. A BIT OF MATTER: The MoMA PS1 Archives, 1976-2000 presents over 250 objects that document this period of the institution, featuring a selection of the many exhibitions, installations, performances, and residencies that took place here.

Organized chronologically, the show is divided into four sections: the early years, when P.S.1 was often called “Project Studios One,” with both exhibition space and artist studios (1976-1979); a period of institutional growth that coincided with the post-punk and New Wave movements in New York (1980-1984); the mature years of “P.S.1 Museum” and later the “Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S.1” (1985-1994); and the eventful period leading up to P.S.1’s merger with The Museum of Modern Art (1997-2000).

The exhibition consists almost exclusively of original materials drawn from MoMA PS1’s archives and takes its title from Lawrence Weiner’s eponymous installation from Rooms, in which he stenciled the words “A BIT OF MATTER AND A LITTLE BIT MORE” on the interior and exterior doors of the building. When the museum reopened in 1997 following a two-year renovation, Weiner reprised the work on the new glass doors, where it remains on view today. His text, like this selection of ephemera, reminds us of the institution’s history and the many people who have contributed to it, each adding a little bit more. 

The exhibition is organized by Peter Eleey, Chief Curator, MoMA PS1; Oliver Shultz, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1; and Jonathan Lill, Leon Levy Foundation Project Manager, The Museum of Modern Art Archives.

The MoMA PS1 Archives are part of the MoMA Archives, The Museum of Modern Art. Special thanks to Michelle Elligott, Chief of Archives, Library, and Research Collections, The Museum of Modern Art. Funding for the processing and creation of a finding aid for the MoMA PS1 Archives was generously provided by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Please note that in attending this event, you automatically grant your consent for the event to be photographed, video-recorded, or Facebook Live.

For questions regarding registration for this event, please contact programming@nycarchivists.org

MoMA PS1 is ADA Accessible 

ART graciously thanks 

Questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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