Okwui Okpokwasili. Poor People’s TV Room (solo). Performed at Lincoln Center Atrium 2015. Photo by Caitlin McCarthy

Highlights Include Works from Nora Turato, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, and Okwui Okpokwasili

The Museum of Modern Art announces presentations through summer 2022 for the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, a state-of-the-art space in the heart of the Museum dedicated to MoMA’s ongoing presentation of live and experimental works. The 2022 Studio program includes Nora Turato: pool 5, January 29– February 13, 2022; Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth, March 12–June 12, 2022; and the Studio Residency: Okwui Okpokwasili, July 16–August 14, 2022. Complete details follow below.

Nora Turato: pool 5
January 29–February 13, 2022

In Nora Turato’s virtuosic performances, spoken word, graphic design, and bookmaking are intertwined to explore the possibilities of language in a culture oversaturated with information. Turato collects words and phrases from a range of sources: the Internet, media headlines, advertisements, conversations, books, commercial products, and her own thoughts. pool 5—which takes the form of a performance and a book—assembles and arranges these pools of text into a growing script that Turato memorizes and performs, alternating rhythm and intonation, voices and modes. She speaks loudly and boldly, disrupting the archetype of a soft-spoken woman and touching on many themes from politics to entertainment to sex.

The previous work in Turato’s series, titled pool 4, was scheduled to open at MoMA on May 6, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, the Amsterdam-based artist collected new texts and phrases, and will present pool 5 in the Kravis Studio. The publication presented in the space serves simultaneously as prop, set, exhibition, archive, and artist’s book.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, Department of Media and Performance.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth
March 12–June 12, 2022

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020– ongoing) examines how individuals bear witness to experiences of violence, loss, displacement, and forced migration. Since the early 2010s, Abbas and Abou-Rahme have collected online recordings of everyday people singing and dancing in communal spaces in Iraq, Palestine, and Syria. The work brings digital traces of these performing bodies together with new performances conceived by the artists, a dancer, and a group of musicians in Ramallah’s cultural underground. According to Abbas and Abou-Rahme, through circulation of the footage, “these fractured communities are resisting their own erasure and laying claim to space, self, and collectivity once more.”

This evolving project, co-commissioned by MoMA and Dia Art Foundation, will be presented as an online platform and a physical exhibition. The first part, titled Postscript: after everything is extracted, launched in December 2020 as part of Dia’s Artist Web Projects Series. In winter 2022, Dia’s online platform will be updated with the artists’ extensive collection of found online recordings and the original performances. The forthcoming exhibition in the Kravis Studio will bring the footage into the gallery through a multichannel sound and video installation.

May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth is co-commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Dia Art Foundation, New York.

Organized at MoMA by Martha Joseph, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Assistant Curator of Media and Performance, Department of Media and Performance.

Studio Residency: Okwui Okpokwasili
July 16–August 14, 2022

Okwui Okpokwasili is the inaugural artist in MoMA’s Studio Residency program, which offers a space and resources for incubation, experimentation, and collaboration. Artists have the opportunity to research and develop their work, while offering audiences an in-gallery experience to encounter artworks in development.

Okpokwasili, a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and writer, has stated, “I want to build full and rich characters with integrity, Brown bodies laboring within a very specific and charged context.” She explores the roles of African and African American women by creating multidisciplinary performance pieces that seek to shape the shared space inhabited by the audience and performer. Her productions, created in collaboration with acclaimed designer Peter Born, are experimental in form, bringing together elements of dance, theater, and the visual arts. At MoMA, Okpokwasili will expand on her previous research inspired by embodied anti-colonial protest techniques used by women in Southeastern Nigeria, exploring the possibilities of singing, movement, video, and text.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, Department of Media and Performance.

Opened in October 2019 as part of MoMA’s major expansion project, the Kravis Studio is a live space dedicated to performance, music, sound, spoken word, and expanded approaches to the moving image. Since MoMA’s founding, the Museum has shown a commitment to dance and the performing arts through its collection and exhibition programming. It has been a bold innovator in positioning live art within broader narratives of art history. Situated at the heart of the Museum, within the collection gallery circuit on the fourth floor, the Kravis Studio is the world’s first dedicated space for performance, process, and time-based art to be centrally integrated within the galleries of a major international collection.

Striving to create an open, accessible, and generous experience, the Kravis Studio includes a double height glass wall with a view of 53rd Street, an overlook from the fifth-floor collection galleries, and an entrance on the fourth floor that can be exposed to the adjacent galleries or sealed to control light and sound. The space is designed to support the technical needs of performance with state-of-the-art facilities and carefully considered acoustics. The scale of the space provides an intimate and focused experience with the work. With a capacity to accommodate multiple configurations, the Kravis Studio is activated throughout the year by a range of performances, programs, and installations through commissions, festivals, residencies, rehearsals, and workshops.


The Kravis Studio Programs are presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

Major support is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art.

Generous funding is provided by the Lonti Ebers Endowment for Performance and the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.

Additional support for Studio Residency: Okwui Okpokwasili has been provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.