From the archive
The Museum of American Art is no ordinary museum, but the re-enactment of a museum. It is engaged in making a virtually literal copy of the exhibition history of the MoMA. A discussion about a museum that presents itself as the only ‘real museum of art’.
The Museum of American Art opened its doors in 2004 in Berlin, in a ground floor apartment on the Frankfurter Allee 91. The MoAA is filled with Abstract Expressionist masterpieces by heroes such as Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Marc Rothko, Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell. Or rather, copies of them: the MoAA’s collection contains paintings and objects that ‘repeat’ significant works from 20th century American-cum-International Art History. Large format paintings on canvas, often of a slightly sketchy nature, scale models of exhibition spaces, tracings of old photographs of significant art historical moments (important players installing shows, openings), reproductions of pages from watershed catalogues: these are the ingredients of what one could call a ‘typical’ MoAA installation. An installation that is quite literally a white cube (within a white cube) through which viewers can walk, delving physically and mentally into the ‘artifacts’ on view, wondering about their position vis-a-vis the reproduction, the facsimile, authenticity and, significantly, Euro-Western Art History and its accompanying politics.