Curated MoMA Exhibitions: 1970s
June 25–Aug. 5, 1979
Connie Beckley, Julia Heyward, and Maggi Payne created installations by using natural sounds, narratives, instrumental tones, and fabrications made with electronic synthesizers to evoke visual imagery.
Sound Art Press Release
Video from Tokyo to Fukui and Kyoto. April 19–June 19, 1979
These sixteen videos were created by the first artists in Japan to explore the medium, including Mako Idemitsu, Nobuhiro Kawanaka, Hakudo Kobayashi, Fujiko Nakaya, Hitoshi Nomura, the Video Information Center, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, and Keigo Yamamoto.
Catalog | Press Release
Bill Viola: He Weeps for You.
March 15–April 24, 1979
This well-tuned audiovisual installation gave viewers carefully calibrated glimpses of themselves and their surroundings. The work revolved around a slowly and continuously forming drop of water, amplified visually and aurally through electronic means.
Video: XXII, Ed Emshwiller.
Nov. 16, 1978–Jan. 2, 1979
Emshwiller ingeniously combined computer animation with editing and live action. He abstracted and repeated certain gestures, motions, and phrases from his own family life, from the Pilobolus dance company, and from former members of the Open Theater Company.
Video: XXIII, Howard Fried.
Jan. 4–30, 1979
The San Francisco–based conceptual artist Howard Fried used video to work out arcane theories, record actions, and study time as the unique coincidence of events.
Laurie Anderson: The Handphone Table.
Sept. 15–Oct. 29, 1978
The specially constructed, five-foot-long wooden table contained a concealed sound system. Anderson’s clever monologue was audible through bone conduction when a seated museumgoer placed their elbows on the table and put their hands on their head.
Shigeko Kubota: Nude Descending a Staircase.
March 16–April 29, 1978
Kubota used a synthesizer to abstract and colorize the repeated video image of a nude descending a staircase in her video sculpture. The tape was played on four monitors that were set into the risers of a plywood staircase (constructed by Al Robbins). The work is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp and his famous 1912 painting.
Nam June Paik Projects.
Aug. 29–Oct. 9, 1977
The survey featured Paik’s TV Buddha (1974), a closed-circuit installation consisting of video camera, an 18th-century Buddha sculpture, and a television set in which the Buddha contemplates his televised image. Paik’s sculptures Zen for TV (1963) and TV with Magnet (1965), and his Merce and Marcel (1978) video were also featured.
Video XXII. June 3–July 31, 1977
The selection featured collaborative works in which the focus was on the synthesis of video with elements of performance, including sound, movement, and language. Artists included Robert Ashley with Paul DeMarinis, Mimi Johnson, Robert Sheff, Gordon Mumma, and William Farley; Charles Atlas and Merce Cunningham; Viola Farber, Philip Makanna, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Tudor.
March 17–May 30, 1977.
This survey displayed the dynamism of mass-produced, inexpensive books conceived and designed entirely by artists, and printed as offset lithography, photocopy, or mimeograph. The pages consisted of abstract or photographic images, symbols, statements, verbally directed visual ideas, or narrative or mythological tales. The 189 bookworks all came from MoMA’s collection.
Checklist | Program Notes | Press Release
Projects: Peter Campus.
Dec. 9, 1976–Jan. 18, 1977
The exhibition featured aen (1976), Peter Campus’s closed-circuit video installation in which the artist explored both formal and psychological issues.
Projects: Video IX, Selections from the Collection.
July 1–Sept. 30, 1976
Selections from the collection marked the beginning of a video study archive that documents the medium as it grows. Featured artists include Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Ed Emshwiller, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Richard Serra, and Keith Sonnier.
Nov. 1, 1975–Jan. 30, 1976
Computer-driven videos whose imagery has been manipulated by special-effects generators to produce an electronic collage commonly called “synthesized video.” Shigeko Kubota, Hermine Freed, Lillian Schwartz, Ken Knowlton, Thomas DeFanti, William Fetter, Peter Foldes, Ed Emshwiller, Gary Hill, Ken Marsh, and William Gwin.
Video from Europe.
Nov. 1, 1974–Jan. 31, 1975
Performative videos by Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, Ulrike Rosenbach, and Gilbert and George.
Projects: Video I.
Aug. 26–Oct. 31, 1974
Launch of the ongoing video exhibition program, with videos by Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, and William Wegman.