Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Saturdays are Heating Up at Long Island City's MOMA PS1

If you haven't felt enough heat from the NYC temperatures lately, perhaps you need to spend a Saturday Warming Up at MOMA PS1's Saturday outdoor performance series. Housed in an old school building in Long Island City, PS1 is an affiliate of The Modern Museum of Art, and is full of contemporary exhibits from international artists, many of whom are lesser known than their counterparts at MOMA's midtown headquarters.

Playing Foosball at PS1's Courtyard
The annual Warm Up series gathers experimental musicians, DJs and other performers at the courtyard of PS1 (entrance at the corner of Jackson Ave and 46th Ave), where, for only $15, patrons can spend all day jiving to the live music, playing ping pong, foosball or chess, or relaxing in a variety of ergonomic lounge areas. No outside food or drink is allowed, but there are food and drinks (alcoholic and non) available for purchase in the courtyard, as well as at PS1's indoor cafe. The series kicks off every Saturday at 2pm and goes until 9pm, getting more and more crowded as the set list moves along to the better known performers by the end of the evening (e.g. last Saturday ended with a DJ set from trancey, dancey group, Gang Gang Dance). 

Set by The Miracles Club
In between sets, make sure to visit the museum itself, as admission to the galleries is included in the price of your Warm Up ticket. The museum's rotating exhibitions showcase photography, abstract art, videos, paintings, sculpture and more. One of my favorite recent exhibits (ended July 24) was a showing of Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 cult flick, The Holy Mountain, a weird, gross satire that goes above and beyond sacrilegious as it follows a young man who resembles Jesus on a sort of spiritual, baptismal journey... I had not heard of Jodorowsky before, but I will certainly be seeking out his films and graphic novels. 

An Indoor, Open-Air "Skylight" is Among the
Museum's Unique Draws
Another exhibit that is really striking, and which is currently on display through August 8, is Laurel Nakadate's Only the Lonely. Though various mediums, including self-portrait photographs and videos, Nakadate reveals an over-sexualized, self-destructive persona, a woman so beautiful and yet so poignantly sad and lonely. Through some interactions with strangers she works to "exorcise" her sadness (seen on video footage and in photographs). As you peer into some of her photographs, you feel as if you are looking in on a secret world of vulnerability and you cannot help but be captivated by it. 

If you choose to explore all of PS1's rotating exhibits, be sure to set aside a few hours to walk through all of the galleries, and still have time to play outside in the courtyard. Next Saturday's Warm Up schedule features a DJ set by Das Racist, as well as live sets from other performances. See the full schedule here

Bonus tip: MOMA members (excluding corporate members) and Long Island City residents get into Warm Up for free! 

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