Date of Degree

2-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Robert Singer

Subject Categories

American Art and Architecture | Contemporary Art | Fine Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Modern Art and Architecture | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Film and Media Studies | Other Philosophy | Theory and Criticism | Visual Studies

Keywords

Ernie Gehr, Experimental Film, Video Art, Museum of Modern Art

Abstract

This thesis examines exhibitions and media installations of Ernie Gehr’s work at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), beginning with the pivotal 1970 show Information, which presented four films by Gehr. Wait (1968), Transparency (1969), Reverberation (1969), and History (1970) were screened alongside work by other avant-garde filmmakers and video artists in a circular viewing booth in the gallery space, in a show featuring works now considered masterpieces of conceptual art. It also considers the two site-specific video works, MoMA on Wheels (2002) and Navigation (2002), which Gehr created for the lobby space at MoMA QNS, the temporary home for the museum during construction for a major expansion project. Finally it explores Gehr’s two major solo exhibitions, Panoramas of the Moving Image: Mechanical Slides and Dissolving Views from Nineteenth-Century Magic Lantern Shows from 2007, and Carnival of Shadows from 2015. Descriptive analysis of each film or installation, inflected with methodologic devices of film history, art history, and philosophy, grounds discussion of the works within the surrounding context of the Museum.

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