EXPO 1: New York

EXPO 1: New York, an exploration of ecological challenges in the context of the economic and socio-political instability of the early 21st century opens at MoMA PS1, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rockaway Beach.

Acting in the guise of a festival-as-institution, EXPO 1: New York imagines a contemporary art museum dedicated to ecological concerns, presenting a simultaneity of modules, interventions, solo projects, and group exhibitions including a school, a colony, a cinema, a geodesic dome, Rain Room, and more. EXPO 1: New York is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen Group of America. Rain Room is on view at MoMA, courtesy of RH, Restoration Hardware.

The concept of EXPO 1: New York was developed by MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator-at-Large Klaus Biesenbach with Hans Ulrich Obrist and an advisory group including Peter Eleey, Paola Antonelli, Pedro Gadanho, Laura Hoptman, Roxana Marcoci, and Jenny Schlenzka. EXPO 1: New York is organized by Klaus Biesenbach with Christopher Y. Lew, and Lizzie Gorfaine, with specific curators for several of the modules and exhibitions.

Klaus Biesenbach explains, “EXPO 1 is informed by many of the participatory and performative practices of contemporary art in recent years, but translates and focuses them into social practice.” Biesenbach continues, “Architecture in its construction and use is performative and experiential, as in the Colony and the Rain Room. The VW Dome 2 in the Rockaways is also a community center, not only a place to present, project, and host art events. Teaching on a daily basis, as in the EXPO School run by Triple Canopy, becomes again an urgent artistic practice, as in the days when Joseph Beuys revolutionized the art school system in Europe. Providing the viewers with a daily moving pictures program, a special dish at M. Wells, and the opportunity to cultivate plants on the rooftop broadens the experience of the museum as a place to take in, be part of, and invest. ‘Dark Optimism’ means there is a future, if you want it to be there.”

To honor MoMA PS1’s own pioneering history in social practice and politically and ecologically engaged exhibitions, Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist consulted PS1’s founder Alanna Heiss and asked her to be an honorary curatorial voice in EXPO 1: New York. In addition to her guidance in the overall project, she is curating and re-staging her ground-breaking project, Pool from 1998 with the artist Meg Webster.