This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Martha Rosler’s “Meta-Monumental Garage Sale” invites visitors to haggle over donated items in interactive MoMA installation (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Museum of Modern Art
The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Wednesday-Thursday & Saturday–Monday 12 noon – 5:30, Friday 12 noon – 7:30 (closed Tuesdays & Thanksgiving Day)
Museum admission: $22.50 ($12 can be applied to the purchase of a film ticket within thirty days)
meta-monumental garage sale slideshow

Does Brooklyn-born multimedia conceptual performance artist Martha Rosler have a deal for you! For her first solo exhibition at MoMA, Rosler (“Semiotics of the Kitchen,” “Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful”) is staging the most American of events, a garage sale. (A huge American flag hovers over the installation like the hand of god.) From May through September, Rosler accumulated everyday objects, both her own and through public donations, that she will be selling in MoMA’s second-floor atrium through November 30. Visitors are encouraged to approach Rosler and haggle over items they are interested in, which will be available at whatever price the sixty-nine-year-old Greenpoint-based artist wants to sell them for. And be prepared: Rosler is a tough negotiator. You can also watch the transactions in real time at the sale’s official website. A comment on community, capitalism, and the art market itself, particularly in these difficult economic times, this “Meta-Monumental Garage Sale” is the latest in a series of sales Rosler has been conducting since its debut, at the University of California, San Diego, back in 1973, when she was a graduate student there; New York experienced this previously in 2000 at the New Museum. The space at MoMA resembles a cluttered house, evoking a statement Rosler wrote on a chalkboard all those years ago in San Diego: “Maybe the Garage Sale is a metaphor for the mind.” It’s also a wonderful way to meet a highly influential artist and walk out of MoMA with a unique object that can’t be found in the museum store. Rosler isn’t saying where the money she collects will be going, other than to explain it won’t go into her or the museum’s pockets. (However, one hour’s proceeds from each day’s sales will go directly to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.) There are several special programs associated with the exhibition: On November 19, a psychic, a stylist, and an art conservator will come together for “Meta-Monumental Garage Sale: Exploring Value Systems”; on November 26, “An Evening with Martha Rosler” will feature Rosler in conversation with curator Sabine Breitwieser, talking about “Meta-Monumental Garage Sale” as well as “She Sees in Herself a New Woman Every Day,” an audiovisual installation that is part of the current “Performing Histories (1)” exhibit; and on November 29, panel and round-table discussions will examine “Meta-Monumental Garage Sale: Women, Labor, and Work.”

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