New acquisition and photography gallery replace Ansel Adams exhibition, which closes May 26

Beginning June 22, visitors to OKCMOA’s second floor can experience the single gallery exhibition, “Photographing the Street,” and one of the Museum’s newest acquisitions, “Fireworks (Archives),” in addition to the Museum’s permanent collection exhibition, “From the Golden Age to the Moving Image: The Changing Face of the Permanent Collection.” The Museum acquired “Fireworks (Archives)” last year following the groundbreaking moving image exhibition, “Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness.”

“As Weerasethakul’s most popular work in ‘The Serenity of Madness,’ ‘Fireworks (Archives)’ was a significant and exciting acquisition for us,” said Dr. Michael Anderson, director of curatorial affairs. “We have been waiting for the right moment to put it on view, and launching this immersive installation in conjunction with the opening of our incredible summer exhibition, ‘Van Gogh, Monet, Degas,’ seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

“Our new photography exhibition builds on the success of ‘Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West,’” Anderson added. “‘Photographing the Street’ continues our tradition of presenting outstanding photography in our second-floor galleries. This exhibition features more than 20 works by four American and Canadian artists – Garry Winogrand, Mike Peters, Gary Mark Smith and Ian Wallace – who have chosen the street as their primary subject.”

“Fireworks (Archives),” is the first of a series of works by internationally renowned filmmaker and visual artist Weerasethakul to consider the politics of Thailand through the use of pyrotechnics. In this single-channel video installation that the artist’s website describes as a “hallucinatory memory machine,” the flickering light of fireworks and the sudden flash of a digital camera illuminate unconventional animal sculptures at a temple in northeast Thailand.

For the Museum's presentation, the video is projected onto two hanging panes of glass and is enhanced by surround sound. The light from the projectors spills onto the floor and walls, competing for the viewer's attention and creating a truly immersive experience. 

“Photographing the Street” highlights each artist’s distinct approach and purpose in focusing on a universally shared public place. The choice of the street as subject matter ranges from capturing everyday American life to creating a global street photography portfolio that reveals the similarities of urban life around the world to meditating on the demands of modern life.

“Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West” takes an intimate look at seven iconic works by Adams as well as 39 photographs by 12 other artists, including Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Eliot Porter, Laura Gilpin, Philip Hyde and William Garnett. On view through May 26, 2019, the exhibition has attracted record spring crowds to the Museum.

“Photographing the Street” and “Fireworks (Archives)” will be included in admission to “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.” “Photographing the Street” will be on view through Dec. 1, 2019. “Fireworks (Archives)” will be an ongoing installation.