Images from L/R: Poor People’s Campaign, Resurrection City, June 25, 1968. AP/ Bob Daugherty; Adam Pendleton, Untitled (Who is Queen), 2019; Adam Pendleton, Queen, 2020 (detail)

Museum Exhibitions

Adam Pendleton

Who Is Queen?

Museum of Modern Art, New York
Jul 25 – Oct 4, 2020

The Museum of Modern Art will present Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen?, a large-scale multimedia installation that will be on view in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium from July 25 through Oct 4, 2020. Based in New York, Adam Pendleton (American, born 1984) is a Conceptual artist who uses historical and aesthetic content from visual culture to explore the ways in which context influences meaning. Pendleton reconfigures words, forms, and images to provoke critical questioning.

For this presentation, Pendleton’s monumental installation will bring the formal mechanics of musical counterpoint—the folding and unfolding of simultaneous voices—into contact with the aesthetics of protest. For the duration of the exhibition, MoMA’s Marron Atrium will be transformed into an arena encompassed by three wooden, floor-to-ceiling vertical scaffolds. These modular systems, built from four basic units, will be designed to resemble balloon framing used in American house construction.

Who Is Queen? critically questions the notion of the museum as repository. Utilizing social and contrapuntal compositions, Who Is Queen? will include a months-long program of live events, including screenings, readings, lectures, and musical performances. It will also serve as a platform for the display of layers of exhibited material: new paintings, drawings, and sculptures; moving images; slideshows of archival material; and a sound piece.

Who Is Queen? can be understood as a sophisticated, generative device through which a multiplicity of sounds and images are captured, modified, displayed, and played back. The work is a “machine” imperfectly regulated by an algorithmic score that presents, documents, collects, archives, digests, and represents material. Audio documentation of the live events will be edited and mixed back into the installation on a regular basis, and each day of the exhibition will feature a different combination of looped tracks played simultaneously.

The project is in part a response to popular mobilizations of the past decade such as the Black Lives Matter and Occupy movements. Drawing on the work of figures as disparate as Michael Hardt, Ruby Sales, and Glenn Gould, Who Is Queen? seeks to present works at the nexus of abstraction and politics.

Read more in (opens in a new window) The New York Times or by visiting MoMA's (opens in a new window) website.

  • Museum Exhibitions — MoMA to Present "Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen?", Feb 10, 2020