Fall 2004 Talks
Francis Alÿs's artistic practice falls into many genres—drawing, painting, video, film, photography, and performance. Alÿs (b.1959, Antwerp, Belgium) is particularly interested in creating gestures that are witnessed, discussed, experienced, and remembered by many. In 2002, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund and the Museum of Modern Art, Alÿs organized The Modern Procession, a celebratory march commemorating the temporary re-location of MoMA from Manhattan to Queens. A Peruvian band led more than 150 participants from MoMA (53rd Street and 5th Avenue) through the streets of mid-town Manhattan and over the Queensboro Bridge to MoMA QNS (33rd Street at Queens Boulevard). Both festive and ceremonial, the procession made MoMA's historic transition both visible and public, linking the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens in a spectacular and memorable way.
Janet Cardiff (b.1957, Brussels, Ontario, Canada) is perhaps best known for her signature audio walks, which she has made in London, Florence, San Francisco, St. Louis, and elsewhere. Her gallery installations--often made with George Bures Miller, Cardiff's husband and artistic collaborator--use the narrative and technical language of film noir to create lush, suspenseful sound and video works. In 2004, the Public Art Fund commissioned Her Long Black Hair, a 35-minute journey through Central Park that transformed an everyday stroll through the park into an absorbing psychological and physical experience. Viewers participated in Cardiff's narrative, retracing the footsteps of an enigmatic dark-haired woman through a sensory investigation of fact and fiction, interwoven with local history, opera, gospel music, and other atmospheric and cultural elements.
Pierre Huyghe (b.1962, Paris, France) has gained international prominence for creating a diverse body of work that explores the structures of popular culture in everyday life. Huyghe utilizes film, video, sound, animation, sculpture, and architecture to investigate the borders between fiction and reality, and memory and history. His projects employ a diverse range of references including 19th-century utopian social projects, Hollywood films, contemporary fiction, and romantic landscape painting. In December 2002, Pierre Huyghe created L'Expedition Scintillante: A Musical at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the first stage of a much larger project. Using the three different floors of the building, he created three different environments that reflected three acts in a musical. In January 2005 Huyghe will undertake the second part of the project. Together with a group of like-minded artists, he will charter a boat for one month in the Antarctic. The final part of the project will be presented at the Musee D'Art Moderne, Paris, and at the Tate Gallery, London in 2006.
Public Art Fund Talks are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.