The New Museum’s Fifth Floor Will Be Turned Into a Spaceship


Early next year the fifth floor of the New Museum will be transformed to resemble the interior of a retro-futurist spaceship. The funky environment will provide the setting for “Museum as Hub: Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module,” a group show curated by tranzit and organized by Lauren Cornell. The exhibition, which runs from January 22 to April 6, 2014, will include 117 pieces by artists based in Eastern Europe, including Babi Badalov, Tamás Király, Eva Koťátková, Denisa Lehocká, and Société Réaliste.

The vintage sci-fi setting aims to replicate and evoke the sense of temporal and spatial dislocation conjured by seeing artworks from disparate times, places, and movements alongside one another. Or, as tranzit puts it in the exhibition press release:

We hope for the exhibition to make the facts of time relativity, cultural translation, and spatial distance not only explained by curatorial conventions (texts, wall labels) but also performed by the visitors as they move inside the space and experience it as explorers, interested and disoriented by the new terrain they’re discovering.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a free publication including contributions from Cornell, tranzit, Miklós Erdéley, and Stano Filko. On the exhibition’s opening weekend, January 25-26, the New Museum will also host the conference “Futures of Eastern Europe,” examining the importance of space and science fiction for citizens of Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War.

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Image: Jindrich Polák, “Ikarie XB-1 [Voyage to the End of the Universe],” 1963 (still). Courtesy the National Film Archive, Prague.)