Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, NY, USA
Until 27 February 2017

 

“Looking at Mars, this imagine space, reflects most humans back to Earth.”- MPA

 

Since relocating to California’s Mojave desert in 2013, artist MPA (b. 1980; Redding, CA) has been immersed in a broad inquiry into the potential colonization of Mars, often known as the red planet. In this multi-part exhibition the artist looks at Mars as a place for settlement and a resource for our own planet, as well as a site of possible human origin. MPA’s research considers unconventional sources such as mythology, psychic accounts, and personal narratives, as credible authorities. By reflecting more generally on histories of colonization, RED IN VIEW raises questions of militarism and patriarchy, prompting us to examine our own, often subconscious, colonizing behaviors.

RED IN VIEW unfolds in four movements throughout the museum. The exhibition begins in the lobby gallery and extends to the theater in February for a culminating performance. Over the course of ten continuous days, MPA and artists Malin Arnell and Amapola Prada perform Orbit, living in the narrow space between the windowpanes of the theater. The space becomes a biosphere: an enclosed, self-sustaining habitat, modeled after an environment where the first settlers on Mars might reside.

RED IN VIEW is organized by Jay Sanders, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance and Greta Hartenstein, Senior Curatorial Assistant, with Allie Tepper, Curatorial Project Assistant.

Aspects of the exhibition will be on view through February 27, 2017 in the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery, on the Museum’s first floor, which is accessible to the public free-of-charge.

MOVEMENTS
I. Prelude
November 11, December 9, and January 20 (7–10 pm), Lobby and Lobby Gallery
A periodic live appearance in the gallery by two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos.

II. The Interview
November 11–February 27, Lobby Gallery
The interview is active. You are invited to pick up the phone.

III. Orbit
February 9–19, Floor Three, Hess Family Theater
A test. MPA, with artists Malin Arnell and Amapola Prada, inhabit the narrow space between the windowpanes of the theater, overlooking the Hudson River. For twenty-four hours a day over the course of ten days, the space becomes an artificial biosphere: an enclosed, self-sustaining habitat, modeled after an environment where the first settlers on Mars would likely reside. The participants’ conditions emulate those of astronauts orbiting the earth: sleeping in ninety-minute periods and receiving messages on a delay. Everything is recorded and live-edited for Orbit TV, the final document of the trial.

IV. Assembly
February 19, Floor Three, Hess Family Theater
MPA hosts a dramatic live finale of Orbit. This theatrical event orchestrates a culminating series of actions within a sound environment by M. Cay Castagnetto.

 

MPA (b. 1980), Entrance, 2014-2016 (left). Inkjet print mounted on mat board and painted wood, 7 x 7 in. (17.8 x 17.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Higher Pictures. Surrender, 2014-2016 (right). Inkjet print mounted on mat board and painted wood, 7 x 7 in. (17.8 x 17.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Higher Pictures