Bodies of Knowledge at New Orleans Museum of Art, June 28 – October 13, 2019

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents Bodies of Knowledge. The exhibition brings together eleven international contemporary artists to reflect on the role that language plays in defining our cultural identities, and will be the first global contemporary exhibition of its kind at NOMA. Working with materials that range from books and silent film to ink and musical scores, artists Manon Bellet, Wafaa Bilal, Garrett Bradley, Mahmoud Chouki, Adriana Corral, Zhang Huan, William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat, Edward Spots, Donna Crump and Wilmer Wilson IV propose new ways of representing our collective past. 

Organized around a series of immersive installation and film projects, Bodies of Knowledge asks us to consider how we might write more inclusive narratives, reshape public space, and account for people and histories that have, in large measure, been shared.” — New Orleans Museum of Art

Bodies of Knowledge brings a global perspective to current discussions in New Orleans surrounding cultural preservation and historical memory,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “This exhibition invites visitors to consider the role that language plays in their lives, and explore the many ways history can be erased, rewritten, and reinterpreted.”

Manon Bellet, Brève braise, 2010-present, Site-specific installation, Burnt silk paper affixed to the wall, Dimensions variable, Installation image from Galerie Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel Switzerland, 2011, Photo by Viktor Kolibal © Manon Bellet

Manon Bellet, Brève braise, 2010-present, Site-specific installation, Burnt silk paper affixed to the wall, Dimensions variable, Installation image from Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Switzerland, 2013, Photo by Viktor Kolibal © Manon Bellet

Manon Bellet, Brève braise, 2010-present, Site-specific installation, Burnt silk paper affixed to the wall, Dimensions variable, Image courtesy the artist from a performance at the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, Photo by Julie Verlinden, © Manon Bellet

Wafaa Bilal, 168:01, 2016 to present, Site-specific installation, Dimensions variable, Image courtesy of the artist, Photograph by John Dean © Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal, 168:01, 2016 to present, Site-specific installation, Dimensions variable, Image courtesy of the artist, Photograph by John Dean © Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal, The Ashes Series: Piano, 2003-2013, Archival inkjet photograph, 40 x 50 inches, Image courtesy of the artist © Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal, The Ashes Series: Pool, 2003-2013, Archival inkjet photograph, 40 x 50 inches, Image courtesy of the artist © Wafaa Bilal

Garrett Bradley, America (film still), 2019, Multi-Channel video installation, 35mm film transferred to video, black and white, sound, Image courtesy of the artist © Garrett Bradley 2019

Garrett Bradley, America (film still), 2019, Multi-Channel video installation, 35mm film transferred to video, black and white, sound, Image courtesy of the artist © Garrett Bradley 2019

Garrett Bradley, America (film still), 2019, Multi-Channel video installation, 35mm film transferred to video, black and white, sound, Image courtesy of the artist © Garrett Bradley 2019

Mahmoud Chouki in New Orleans, 2019, Photography by Marion Hill © Marion Hill

Adriana Corral, Memento, 2013-present, Site-specific installation, Dimensions variable, Female victim names (Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico) transferred onto (three) walls: acetone, ash burial plot in the center of the space (dimensions of plot, 4ft x 8ft x1inch), Ashes obtained from burned name listings transferred onto wall, Installation image from the McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 2013 © Adriana Corral

Adriana Corral, Memento, 2013-present, Site-specific installation, Dimensions variable, Female victim names (Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico) transferred onto (three) walls: acetone, ash burial plot in the center of the space (dimensions of plot, 4ft x 8ft x1inch), Ashes obtained from burned name listings transferred onto wall, Installation image from the McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 2013 © Adriana Corral

Wilmer Wilson IV, Black Mask, 2012, Single channel video, 5:56 minutes, Edition 3/5, New Orleans Museum of Art

Wilmer Wilson IV, Black Mask, 2012, Single channel video, 5:56 minutes, Edition 3/5, New Orleans Museum of Art

Wilmer Wilson IV, A Running Tour of Some Monuments of Rome (detail), 2014, Publication, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.

Wilmer Wilson IV, A Running Tour of Some Monuments of Philadelphia (detail), 2014, Publication, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture Series (Women with Writing on Hands), 1999, Chromogenic color print, 40 ½ x 60 ¼ inches, Edition of 5 + 2AP. New Orleans Museum of Art, Museum Purchase, 2001.292, © Shirin Neshat, courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris

Shirin Neshat, Rapture (Production still), 1999, Two-channel black and white video, sound (projection), 13 min loop, © Shirin Neshat, Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat, Fervor (Production still), 2000, Two-channel black and white video, sound (projection), 10 min loop, © Shirin Neshat, Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

William Kentridge, Zeno Writing, 2002, Video still of animated film using charcoal and pastel drawing, footage from theater performance, documentary material from First World War, 35mm and digital video, Video and DVD transfer, 12 minutes, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Joint acquisition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, funded by Nina and Michael Zilkha; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2004.201, Image courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery © William Kentridge

William Kentridge, Zeno Writing, 2002, Video still of animated film using charcoal and pastel drawing, footage from theater performance, documentary material from First World War, 35mm and digital video, Video and DVD transfer, 12 minutes, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Joint acquisition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, funded by Nina and Michael Zilkha; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2004.201, Image courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery © William Kentridge

William Kentridge, Zeno Writing, 2002, Video still of animated film using charcoal and pastel drawing, footage from theater performance, documentary material from First World War, 35mm and digital video, Video and DVD transfer, 12 minutes, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Joint acquisition of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, funded by Nina and Michael Zilkha; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2004.201, Image courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery © William Kentridge

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000 (Detail), 9 Chromogenic color prints on Fuji Archival paper, Edition A/P 1, 80 x 70 inches each, Collection of Howard and Joy Osofsky, Photograph courtesy Zhang Huan Studio © Zhang Huan, courtesy Pace Gallery

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000 (Detail), 9 Chromogenic color prints on Fuji Archival paper, Edition A/P 1, 80 x 70 inches each, Collection of Howard and Joy Osofsky, Photograph courtesy Zhang Huan Studio © Zhang Huan, courtesy Pace Gallery

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000 (Detail), 9 Chromogenic color prints on Fuji Archival paper, Edition A/P 1, 80 x 70 inches each, Collection of Howard and Joy Osofsky, Photograph courtesy Zhang Huan Studio © Zhang Huan, courtesy Pace Gallery

Edward Spots, Photography by Louis Greenfield © Lois Greenfield

Bodies of Knowledge is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and co-curated by Katie Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Allison Young, The Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Modern and Contemporary Art. 

Images courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art.