For Projects 98: Slavs and Tatars, The Museum of Modern Art presents the first United States solo exhibition by Slavs and Tatars, from August 15 through December 10, 2012. Slavs and Tatars is a collective whose installations, lectures, publications, and multiples focus on relationships between Western cultures and the Eastern world.
At MoMA, the group presents the new installationBeyonsense, which takes its title from a translation of zaum—the term used to describe abstract language experiments undertaken by artists and authors in the early 20th century—celebrates twists of language across cultures, histories, and geographies. The project was developed, in part, from their study of the Museum's collection of more than 1,000 Russian avant-garde illustrated books. For MoMA, they have designed a reading room of an unconventional sort, featuring their text pieces and artist's books, which incorporate a multitude of languages (Farsi, Russian, English, and Hebrew) and scripts (Latin, Cyrillic). Stressing an attitude of discourse and hospitality within the museum setting, Slavs and Tatars encourage visitors to linger in the space, leaf through the publications, and encounter the installation. The exhibition is organized by Gretchen L. Wagner, The Sue and Eugene Mercy, Jr., Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.