For the first time in its history, Carnegie Museum of Art
launches a new, online exhibition series dedicated to the museum's film and video collection. This extension of the museum's curatorial program into the digital sphere offers a new channel for local and global audiences to experience time-based works previously only accessible in person. With this initiative, CMOA is revolutionizing how visitors can engage with its significant holdings at a time when most cultural institutions are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are all looking for opportunities to be inspired and find solace and comfort during this challenging time," says Eric Crosby, the museum's Henry J. Heinz II Director. "In order to serve our visitors in new ways that are meaningful to them, we must fundamentally rethink the traditional museum experience. Regardless of whether our doors are open or closed, there should be countless opportunities for our digital audiences to experience and interpret art."
The new exhibition series debuts on May 20 with Lake Valley, an eight-minute video work by Rachel Rose (American, b. 1986) lauded for its inclusion in the Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018, and the 2017 Venice Biennale. With this visually rich, animated video, Rose mines themes and imagery from 19th- and 20th-century children's literature to create a dream-like story about loneliness, imagination, and longing for personal connection. Debuting online while the museum's doors remain closed due to COVID-19, this timely digital presentation brings the comfort and inspiration of art directly into the homes of museum visitors.
"I'm happy and honored to have Lake Valley shown as the inaugural video work in this new series presented by Carnegie Museum of Art, and I'm looking forward to seeing other works I might not have otherwise been able to see," said Rachel Rose.
Rachel Rose: Lake Valley is accompanied by family-friendly educational activities that explore the themes of the work and invite close looking. On June 17, Rose will be joined by Crosby for a free online discussion about her work, its themes, and the way her creative process has shifted while sheltering in place. On July 15, families will be invited to join a free online drawing session inspired by Rose's process. The exhibition will conclude with a commissioned essay in the museum's award-winning online journal, Storyboard, before closing on August 16, 2020.
Future iterations of the series will draw from the museum's historically significant film and video collection, which is comprised of nearly 1,000 works. The Department of Film and Video was among the first of its kind when it opened in 1970 as a three-year venture led by Sally Dixon, eventually growing into a full-fledged department that garnered national and international attention. In its first twenty years, the department worked with more than 150 artists including Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Joan Jonas, Carolee Schneemann, Hollis Frampton, Roger Jacoby, Bruce Conner, Freude Bartlett, and Yvonne Rainer. The Department of Film and Video was incorporated into the museum's department of modern and contemporary art in 2003.