Surveying twenty-five years of the multi-disciplinary practice of artist Paul Pfeiffer (b. 1966, Honolulu, Hawaii; lives in New York), Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom will celebrate a pioneering artist known for his incisive work that interrogates ideas of spectacle, belonging and identity. Inspired by televised sporting events and popular entertainment, Pfeiffer’s work deconstructs our fascination and obsession with celebrity culture, unpacking how collective consciousness is shaped and manipulated through his masterful editing of found footage. In tracing the global trajectory of image circulation, Pfeiffer demonstrates how desire, heroism and worship operate as part of the mechanisms of art, religion, politics, and nationhood. Bringing together more than thirty works and debuting a new commission, Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom is the first retrospective of the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice.
MOCA’s presentation of Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom will be accompanied by a full-color monographic catalogue, co-published by the museum and MACK Books, with new scholarship and critical readings of the artist’s work that will offer a much-needed overview of Pfeiffer’s impact and influence to date. The catalogue will be available February 2024 and will include documentation of Pfeiffer’s installation at the Geffen at MOCA.
Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom is organized by Clara Kim, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Paula Kroll, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Lead support is provided by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Aileen Getty Foundation.
Major support is provided by MOCA Projects Council in honor of Mandy Einstein, and Jamie and Robert Soros.
Generous support is provided by Paula Cooper Gallery and Perrotin
Additional support is provided by Jam Acuzar and Christopher Ax, carlier | gebauer (Berlin/Madrid), Marcel Crespo, Thomas Dane Gallery, Eder-Zobel de Ayala Family, Jill and Peter Kraus, Elaine Forsgate Marden, Amy and John Phelan, Anton Ramos, Maria Taniguchi, and Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
Supporters of the exhibition catalogue include The Katherine S. Marmor Award and the Blue Rider Group at Morgan Stanley.
Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with generous funding provided by Jordan S. Goodman + The Goodman Family Foundation and The Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation.
This exhibition is carbon calculated. The museum reduced greenhouse gas emissions through planning efforts and balanced the remaining emissions through Strategic Climate Fund donations. Support provided by the MOCA Environmental Council.