According to The Modern’s website, “the artists each use their medium in ways that transcend what the imagery literally depicts to intensify the idea of desire.”
Forty pieces from various artists were acquired by the museum after more than a year of research, Andrea Karnes, curator for The Modern, said.
“We wanted to add to the collection in a meaningful way,” Karnes said.
“Walking House” is a piece where Simmons explores gender roles in the U.S., Karnes said. It looks at the roles of women and how women used to belong only in the home.
The Exhibition is divided into three themes on the second floor of The Modern. As you walk up the grand staircase, you are immediately in the “Ages” theme.
Karnes said the inspirations behind this theme are the stages of life, a sense of community, the desire to be someone you’re not, exploring family dynamics and the real world that people look past. There are sensitive images in this room including nudity and drug use.
“Rooms” is the next theme as you walk through the exhibition. These photographs show interior and architecture. The theme is represented by the beauty in design and the desire to be somewhere beautiful.
“Scapes” is the last area in the exhibition. This area is designed around landscapes and cityscapes. Karnes said the desire to be somewhere you might not be able to go is the inspiration for this area.
The photographs in this area put the viewer in the middle of New York City, followed by the rainforest and then in the middle of the Arctic. The area shows the beauty of the natural world and the man-made world working together.
Throughout the exhibition, you will hear the song “A Lot of Sorrow” by The National. The song is a recording of a live performance of the band playing continuously for six hours in front of a live audience.
“This piece is the perfect soundtrack for the exhibition because of the desires in the piece, as well as the desire it brings out in the viewer,” Karnes said.
The desire for the group to work through the performance, for the viewer to listen to it and for the crowd to stay for the entire performance makes this piece a perfect fit, Karnes said.
Karnes said the video usually stops and starts over again between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. At this time, one can see the band in the video at the end, as well as the encore. The beginning of the video can also be compared to the view at the end of the video.
Karnes said these works will not always be on display, but will be cycled through when the works fit best with a current exhibition.