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January 12 – February 23
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Maccarone is pleased to present "On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman," a project presented by artist Jonathan Berger, in collaboration with the Estate of Andy Kaufman, Lynne Margulies, and Bob Zmuda, and will be on view from January 12 - February 16th, 2013.
The show presents an extensive collection of ephemera and artifacts from Andy Kaufman's personal and professional life: photographs, correspondence, performance notation, scripts, props and costumes, including his childhood record collection, transcendental meditation materials, hand written drafts of his novel "The Huey Williams Story," hundreds of pieces of hate mail he received from women challenging him to wrestle, in addition to numerous personal effects. The exhibition will act as a portrait of an unclassifiable figure in American cultural history whose work has been seminal in the evolution of performance art, new media and relational aesthetics.
In lieu of explanatory text labels accompanying these materials, a rotating series of Kaufman's friends, family, and collaborators will be physically present in the exhibition at all times, for all 25 days that the exhibition is on view, representing the diverse range of relationships, which span Kaufman's life, work, and interests. A central table and chairs within the gallery space will allow these guests to interact and talk with visitors, offering the opportunity for intimate and unscripted conversations about Kaufman with those that knew him, a rare opportunity to engage with primary sources of this particular history. This approach is largely inspired by the variety show format in which much of Kaufman's work was presented, including his TV specials, nightclub performances, and live concerts, most notably "Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall." Moreover, each special guest becomes an interactive narrator for the exhibition, activating the archival materials on display. The accumulation of these different testimonies serves to both honor and reflect the often elusive, confusing, and even contradictory way that Kaufman lived. Similarly, Berger's treatment of the exhibition exists in a gray area that both incorporates and rejects the standard conventions attached to the role of artist, curator, producer, journalist, director, archivist, biographer, historian, and documentarian. He has chosen to present evidence of Kaufman's life and work, in the form of both ephemera and first hand accounts, and not the work itself. The positioning of this material, coupled with the interactive and unpredictable nature of the circumstances, further underscores how the fluid nature information shapes our understanding of reality and truth, an exploration at the core of Kaufman's artistic practice, a practice which continues to defy definition.
Accompanying "On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman" will be a selection of both classic and obscure audio and video performance documentation from the Comic Relief archive, presented at Maccarone's new adjacent gallery space on the corner of Morton and Washington Streets.
In conjunction with Maccarone's presentation, "Andy Kaufman's 99cent Tour," a series of screenings and events at Participant Inc., will take place from February 12th-24th. For more information please visit participantinc.org. Additionally, MOMA/PS1 will host a Sunday Session devoted to the work of Andy Kaufman on February 17th, 2013 featuring the New York premiere of "Tony Clifton Plays the Sunset Strip."
Michael Kaufman, Andy's brother and Chairman of the Andy Kaufman Award, an annual event that works to preserve the legacy of Andy's art, states: "The Andy Kaufman Award assures the world that Andy's legacy will continue through those who imbibe his spirit, his aliveness and his amazing capacity to seemingly do the impossible. The Kaufman family is happy to know that Andy's body of work continues to impact the art world as is recognized with the Maccarone's project, one I know Andy would strongly embrace." (www.TheAndyKaufmanAward.com)http://www.maccarone.net/exhibitions/40_kaufman/kaufman_press.html
A portrait of an unclassifiable figure in American cultural history.
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After the exhibit closes the celebration of Andy Kaufman continues at MoMA PS1