Experience Media Arts Watch at The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (MAG). MAG has hired world-renowned authority on the moving image John G. Hanhardt, as consulting senior curator of media arts to launch the museum’s new Media Arts Watch initiative.

The inaugural exhibition Bodies in Space is now on view. A special event on October 23 will formally launch the new project. The event, complete with a DJ, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for purchase from Brown Hound Downtown, will include a public lecture by Hanhardt discussing the artists and work featured in the exhibition. The lecture is free with museum admission (free to MAG members).

Schedule for the launch event on Sunday, October 23:
2-2:30pm: guests arrive; purchase food/drinks; listen to music; visit Bodies in Space exhibition
2:30-3:30pm: John G. Hanhardt lecture, including Q&A
3:30-4pm: guests purchase food/drinks; listen to music; visit Bodies in Space exhibition

Bodies in Space, the first of four in the Media Arts Watch series this year, will run through December 31, 2016, and will feature work by Nam June Paik and Bruce Nauman, key artists from the early years of video art, alongside more recent work by Sondra Perry and Takeshi Murata, artists on the cutting edge of a new generation transforming the digital media arts.

Bruce Nauman: Revolving Upside Down (1969)
Nam June Paik: Experiment with David Atwood (1969)
Takeshi Murata: Monster Movie (2005)
Sondra Perry: Double Quadruple Etcetera Etcetera (2013)

Hanhardt, former Smithsonian curator and Rochester native, is bringing media art into the museum’s permanent collection. Works featured in the Media Arts Watch exhibitions will form the core of MAG’s media art collection.

About John G. Hanhardt

Hanhardt began his museum career in the department of film and video at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and from there went to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis to establish its film program and film study collection. From 1974 to 1996, he was curator and head of the film and video department at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was the senior curator of film and media arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1996 to 2006. He joined the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s staff in 2006, and was a consulting senior curator of film and media arts there until 2016.

As a native of Rochester and University of Rochester alum, Hanhardt was inspired by photography, film, and media arts during frequent visits to the George Eastman Museum and by the programming of the Visual Studies Workshop.

Most recently, Hanhardt was curator of Nam June Paik: The Late Style at Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong (2015). His book on another seminal video artist, Bill Viola, was published in 2015 by Thames & Hudson. He is currently co-editor of Nam June Paik’s collected writings for MIT Press, and the Managing Editor of the Andy Warhol Film Catalogue Raisonné (volume II) for the Whitney Museum of American Art and Yale University Press.

Hanhardt holds a master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. He lives in New York City.