Tour of MoMA with Congressman Dondero

Yevgeniy Fiks

Dec 01, 2012 - Jan 10, 2013
Galéria HIT, Bratislava

Dec 01, 2012 7PM

This exhibition "Tour of MoMA with Congressman Dondero" revisits the political-cultural climate of the Cold War era United States in late 1940s-early 1950s. During the McCarthy Era, Modern Art became the subject of the media and the government’s anti-communist witch-hunt. In his 1949 speech, Michigan U.S. Congressman George A. Dondero called Modern Art subversive, communistic and a weapon in the hands of the Communist conspiracy and the Soviet Union. He named the Museum of Modern Art in New York a site of Communist infiltration. In response to these allegations, MoMA’s curator Alfred H. Barr, Jr. discursively separated artists from their artworks by stating that, “We (MoMA) are not exhibiting the artists, but their works. And the artist’s political believes are personal matters, distinct from his work, which should be judged on its merits.”
It is a historical fact that myriad Modern artists were members of the Communist Party or had Communist ties. In exhibition reflects on how Dondero's speeches combined real facts about Modern artists’ communist affiliations with Cold War paranoia-ridden rhetoric. This project poses questions about the meaning of Communist Art outside and within the context of the Cold War and the fundamental relationship between Communism, Modernism, and the Cold War.