Can alternative spaces and their anti-institutional goals ever be faithfully represented inside a museum? If MoMA PS1’s current exhibition FORTY is any indication, the answer is a definitive no.
What makes this realization even more awkward is that in this show, the alternative space and institution are one and the same. As its name suggests, FORTY honors the 40th anniversary of PS1 by looking back to its first exhibition Rooms. The show, like Rooms, is organized by Alanna Heiss who founded PS1 in 1976. The former alternative arts space was just one project launched under Heiss’ nonprofit Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc.