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DOUG AITKEN: Sleepwalkers

At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art

By Glenn Loney



The Museu of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues,

Closed February 12, 2007

This novel Public Artwork--projected on eight faces of the new, improved Museum of Modern Art--was only on view from 16 January until Lincoln’s Birthday, less than a month. It also was scheduled during one of the most bitterly cold winters in recent memory.

Nonetheless, thronging the sidewalks on both West 53rd Street & West 54th Street--as well as lining-up behind traffic-barriers in a vacant lot beside MoMA--scores of New Yorkers turned out to watch Doug Aitken’s Moving-Images, some of them in exceedingly Slow-Motion.

There are a number of MoMA regulars--not to mention passers-by--who don’t much like the New Look of the core Old MoMA. Even though it won the Brendan Gill Prize--not my Nomination!--it is not all that attractive externally. Nor does it function well inside.

But it does provide broad projectible-surfaces, suitable for random videos. Aitken’s images involved a group of nightwalkers in the city, with Tilda Swinton--Orlando, Narnia--as an office-worker. Chan Marshall--of V for Vendetta--was a postal-worker.

Well, you get the Idea… Aitken also invoked some powerful patterns from Neon-Abstracts to Advertising-Specifics.