The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin
The Jewish Museum
17 March – 6 August 2017
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY 10128
Mary Reid Kelley is taking part in The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin at the Jewish Museum NYC. This exhibition of contemporary artworks presents photography, video, sculpture, and painting seen through the lens of influential philosopher Walter Benjamin’s magnum opus The Arcades Project, representing the subjects of each of the book’s thirty-six chapters. The exhibition will combine archival material from the Walter Benjamin archive in Berlin, architectural models, and artwork to evoke the elaborate structure of Benjamin’s text.
Transposing Benjamin’s arcades to the galleries of the Museum, the exhibition invites the visitor to take on the role of the flâneur, the archetypal leisured city dweller who strolled through Paris at ease, coolly attentive and open to happenstance. In addition to traditional wall labels, the poet Kenneth Goldsmith will annotate each work with appropriated texts, extending Benjamin’s reflection on Paris as the capital of the nineteenth century into New York as the capital of the twentieth.
Image: Mary Reid Kelley, Charles Baudelaire, 2015. Pigment ink print on archival paper