North Adams

North Adams

Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)
87 Marshall Street
May 27–February 28, 2006

Curated by Nato Thompson

To gain purchase on the atemporality of the current moment, this exhibition of nearly fifty photographs, videos, installations, and sculptures from the past six years highlights eleven artists who reevaluate historical events and notions of progress. Approaches range from restaging—Jeremy Deller’s reprise of a 1984 strike by England’s National Union of Mineworkers, Allison Smith’s Civil War reenactments—to more allusive sampling, like Yinka Shonibare’s African textiles and Dario Robleto’s alchemical assemblages. Accompanied by a catalogue with essays by the curator, historian Martin Jay, and critics Daniel Rosenberg and Sasha Archibald, “Ahistoric Occasion” assures a host of new takes on our knotty present, adding yet another twist to the already paradoxical project of historicizing contemporary art.