07.21.2014
By Terry Flanagan

Producing Happiness

From July 27 through November 2, The Museum of Modern Art will present Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, the first retrospective of Christopher Williams’s remarkable 35-year career as one of the most influential cinephilic artists working in photography. Located within the sixth floor’s International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Gallery, the display features the artist’s rarely seen Super-8 shorts, major projects from the 1980s to early 1990s, and photographs from his magnum series For Example: Die Welt ist schön (The world is beautiful) and For Example: Dix-huit leçons sur la société industrielle (Eighteen lessons on industrial society).

Christopher Williams (American, born 1956). Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide / © 1968, Eastman Kodak Company, 1968/(Meiko laughing)/Vancouver, B.C./April 6, 2005. 2005. Chromogenic color print, paper: 20 x 24″ (50.8 x 61 cm); framed: 34 x 37 3/4″ (86.4 x 95.9 cm). Glenstone. Courtesy of the artist; David Zwirner, New York/London; and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. © Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams (American, born 1956). Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide / © 1968, Eastman Kodak Company, 1968/(Meiko laughing)/Vancouver, B.C./April 6, 2005. 2005. Chromogenic color print, paper: 20 x 24″ (50.8 x 61 cm); framed: 34 x 37 3/4″ (86.4 x 95.9 cm). Glenstone. Courtesy of the artist; David Zwirner, New York/London; and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. © Christopher Williams

Williams, invested in the histories of photography and film, has produced a cohesive portfolio that furthers a critique of late capitalist society in which images typically function as agents of spectacle. With a concentration on photography, the retrospective will showcase other significant aspects of Williams work as well such as extensive vinyl “supergraphics” and inventions with display architecture.

Co-organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, the display is accompanied by an extensive volume of commentary including verbal transcripts from Williams as well as historical and contemporary textual and visual materials that were selected by the artist himself. Such contributions are supplemented by a trio of essays from curators Mark Godfrey, Roxana Marcoci, and Matthew S. Witkovsky that reflect on Williams’s engagement with his artistic peers and predecessors, with cinema, and with modes of display and publicity in the art world.

The Department of Photography’s Senior Curator, Roxana Marcoci and Assistant Curator Lucy Gallun, organize the exhibition. For more information visit the website: http:/moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1411g

 

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