MoMA Announces Quay Brothers Retrospective
As they have previously done for classical and avant-garde drama, opera, and site-specific performance, the Quay Brothers continue to adapt their aesthetic to new mediums. In recent years they have replicated their visionary environments for gallery display in the form of miniature décor boxes, called Dormitorium (2006), and as peephole installations, such as Coffin of a Servant’s Journey (2007), which are on view on the Museum’s first floor and in the Titus Theater Galleries.
Major support for the exhibition is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.
An accompanying film exhibition, Lip-Reading Puppets: The Curators’ Prescription for Deciphering the Quay Brothers, runs August 9, 2012–January 7, 2013, in The Celeste Bartos Theater. Presented in conjunction with the gallery exhibition, this complete retrospective of the Quay Brothers' film and video works was organized to encourage an appreciation of their versatility across a range of moving-image genres. This series of twice-monthly screenings includes shorts, dance films, documentaries, music videos, commercial spots, and their two feature films. The series opens with screenings of MoMA’s new 35mm print of the Quay Brothers' first feature, Institute Benjamenta (1995), a luminous black-and-white adaptation of the novel Jakob von Gunten, by Swiss writer Robert Walser, one of the literary outsiders whose work has been a major inspiration for the Quay Brothers. This exhibition is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.
A publication accompanying the exhibition surveys the range of the Quay Brothers' art, from little-known moving image pieces to works on paper, including graphic design, drawings, typography, and notebooks for films. Essays by Ron Magliozzi and Edwin Carels examine the Quay Brothers' history and practice, and two new projects by the Quay Brothers in the form of text and images provide insight into their working process.