Exhibition - Private Lives Public Spaces

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020 at 10:30am

The Museum Of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

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Long before camera phones, the 1923 introduction of small-gauge film stock heralded the unofficial birth of affordable home moviemaking. Over the subsequent decades, many thousands of reels of amateur film shot around the world amounted to one of the largest and most significant bodies of moving-image work produced in the 20th century.

Artists, celebrities, world travelers, and the public at large, using 16- and 8-millimeter equipment, employed this unregulated, democratic form of personal filmmaking to produce work that is by turns vigorous, sentimental, frank, and sometimes transgressive. Sadly, these films were also rarely preserved and commonly abandoned, often ending up as flea market curios or stock footage as more consumer-friendly video formats arrived in the 1980s. Private Lives Public Spaces, the Museum’s first gallery installation of home movies and amateur films drawn exclusively from its collection, shines a light on a seldom-recognized cinematic revolution.

This 100-screen presentation of virtually unseen, homemade works dating from 1907 to 1991 explores the connections between artist’s cinema, amateur movies, and family filmmaking as alternatives to commercial film production. Staged as an immersive video experience, the exhibition reveals an overlooked history of film from the Museum’s archives, providing fresh perspectives on a remarkably rich precursor to the social media of today.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Katie Trainor, Collections Manager, Peter Williamson, Preservation Officer, and Ashley Swinnerton, Collection Specialist, Department of Film.

Exhibition Date: Through February 21, 2021 

Location:  MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Film Center, The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center 

Admission:

Adults :$25

Seniors: $18 (65 and over with ID)

Visitors with disabilities: $18

Students: $14 (Full-time with ID)

Children: Free (16 and under) 

Members: Free

Tickets include admission to all galleries and special exhibitions.

Entry is by advance timed ticket only. Tickets must be reserved online and will not be available at the Museum.

Members do not need to book in advance. An allocation of timed tickets is reserved for members each hour; guest privileges apply.

Admission is free for a caregiver accompanying a visitor with a disability.

Free access to MoMA through September 27 is made possible by UNIQLO.

Reserve timed tickets

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