MTV, MoMA PS1, and Creative Time today announced Art Breaks, a new series of ten original video art pieces by some of the most exciting emerging artists working around the world today. The videos, which were commissioned and curated by Creative Time and MoMA PS1, will debut on MTV, MTV.com, MTV’s Facebook page and a dedicated Tumblr page beginning Monday, April 2nd and continuing throughout 2012, bringing experimental artwork directly to MTV’s global audience of more than 600 million.
Art Breaks builds on MTV’s rich legacy of introducing its audience to vanguard video art, including early work from Keith Haring, Jean‐Michel Basquiat, Spike Jonze, Kenny Scharf and Doug Aitken, as well as Andy Warhol’s “15 Minutes.” The first five videos in the new series include works by Rashaad Newsome, Mickalene Thomas, Tala Madani, Jani Ruscica and Mads Lynnerup.
“Creative expression and experimentation are at the core of MTV’s DNA,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “Through this groundbreaking collaboration with MoMA PS1 and Creative Time, we’re thrilled to use the enormous power of television to introduce audiences around the world to this pioneering art work.”
Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time, says of the unique partnership, “We are very excited to be working with MTV in honoring its iconoclastic and influential roots in introducing cutting‐edge art and culture to millions of people around the globe.”
“MoMA PS1 is a laboratory for contemporary practice,” said Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large of MoMA. “And this collaboration allows a younger generation of artists to experiment beyond the walls of the museum and onto the screens of a broad, international audience.”
The first round of five videos includes works by bold, young, ascendant visual artists whose work is designed to engage a new generation of MTV viewers. Rashaad Newsome uses performance, photography, collage, video, sculpture, and sound to develop multimedia works that examine the intersection between pop and subculture forms. He has exhibited and performed at venues including The Kitchen and Centre Georges Pompidou, and his work was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial and the Greater New York exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2010. For Art Breaks, Newsome created a new video from his ongoing SWAG the Mix Tape project, inspired by his interest in the language of heraldry and the history of the mix tape in the context of the early days of hip‐hop.
Newsome says, “As a kid I remember being captivated by the videos and animations that MTV would air in between programming. I am so excited to be a part of this project as MTV has been a huge inspiration for me and I can think of no other place better suited to premiere ‘SWAG Vol. 2.'”
Mickalene Thomas explores notions of beauty from a contemporary perspective, influenced by popular culture and pop art. She earned her MFA from Yale University School of Art and regularly participates in exhibitions internationally, with upcoming solo exhibitions at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. “ReVay,” Thomas’ piece for Art Breaks, is a snapshot‐style portrait shot on Super 8 film that challenges conventional notions of sexuality and femininity.
“Having the opportunity to share my creative vision in collaboration with MTV and some of New York’s foremost cultural institutions has been an amazing experience,” Thomas says. “I am very honored to have participated in this collaborative project… plus who wouldn’t want to be on MTV?”
Tala Madani creates stop‐motion animations that utilize the bizarre and surreal to address cultural and gender differences, exploring connections between power structures, law, and language. Madani also graduated from the Yale University School of Art MFA program and has exhibited at MoMA PS1, the New Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Venice Biennale. Her project for Art Breaks consists of the silent work “Under Man,” in which a man is aggressively pelted by objects until he decides to bury himself.
Through film, video, and photography, Jani Ruscica combines elements of cinema, video art, theater, and performance to produce collaborative works that investigate how one defines location and placement. For Art Breaks, Ruscica has collaborated with fellow Finnish artist Sini Pelkki on “Screen Test (for a living sculpture),” a video close‐up of a performer quietly confronting the viewer in a fleeting moment rooted in mundane experience.
Mads Lynnerup works in a variety of media, creating humorous and poignant works based on observations he makes of his immediate environment. Lynnerup has shown his work internationally, including at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Miami Art Museum, and MoMA PS1. For Art Breaks, he has collaborated with a NYC‐based personal trainer to create a video, titled “Astrobright (fake and temporary),” of short fitness workout segments that take an alternative approach to teaching the viewer how to keep him‐ or herself healthy via exercise routines that take place outside the gym.
The second group of five participating artists will be announced and debut on‐air and online in summer 2012.