MoMA PS1 Bringing Patti Smith, Janet Cardiff, and the Honolulu Biennial to the Rockaways

Abandoned house at the Rockaways. Image courtesy MoMA PS1.

This summer, just in time for beach season, MoMA PS1 will hold an art festival and exhibition at Fort Tilden and Rockaway Beach in Queens—where the institution’s director, Klaus Biesenbach, has a house—as part of the contemporary art center’s ongoing efforts to further the revitalization of an area ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. In the storm’s immediate aftermath, Biesenbach and PS1 arranged to erect a domed pavilion at Rockaway Beach to serve as a kind of pop-up community cultural center.

Dubbed “Rockaway!,” this summer’s exhibition and arts festival—running June 29–September 1—was conceived by Biesenbach along with artist, poet, and musician Patti Smith, who also has a house near Rockaway Beach. The show will feature a large-scale installation and photography exhibition by Smith created specifically for the exhibition, along with a set of small sculptures by the Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas crafted from his materials of choice, unfired clay and straw, and Janet Cardiff’s seminal sound piece The Forty Piece Motet, which will be installed in the Sandy-damaged military chapel at Fort Tilden.

The final and perhaps most peculiar element of “Rockaway!” will be a group exhibition put on in partnership with the new Honolulu Biennial, which will have its first edition in 2016.

The exhibition is being organized following an invitation from the Rockaway Artists Alliance, and will be hosted by the National Park Service, which operates and maintains Fort Tilden. For regular photo reports on the exhibition’s progress, you can follow Biesenbach on Instagram, where he’s been building hype for the “Rockaway!” show for more than a week already.

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