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On Wednesday, December 12, The Museum of Modern Art, Luce Cincecittà, and Fondo Pier Paolo Pasolini/Cineteca di Bologna hosted a brunch at the M Wells Dinette at MoMA PS1. The brunch functioned as a press preview marking the launch of a retrospective celebrating the life and work of Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. The full retrospective, co-produced by MoMA and Luce Cinecittà with support from Gucci, will run from December 13, 2012-January 5, 2013.
MoM1 PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach expressed excitement at the completion of the project, stating he had wanted to do a Pasolini retrospective for years. “A generation of film enthusiasts has grown up with Pasolini,” MoMA film department curator Jyette Jensen said, praising the artist for his unflinching social critiques and prolific medium-spanning work.
Though Pasolini is largely celebrated for his cinematic work, the retrospective aims to present the artist as more than a filmmaker. “If you ask any Italian, they will tell you Pasolini is a poet first,” remarked one panelist of the late filmmaker who died a celebrated public figure.
For those wanting to delve beyond film, the retrospective includes other events designed to pay tribute to the variety of mediums through which Pasolini worked. An Italian and English language recitation of his poetry and essays, brought to life by an international cast of actors and actresses, will display Pasolini’s large volume of written work. An exhibition of his many paintings and drawings will also be available to the public. Both will happen in conjunction with film screenings and installations of newly restored Pasolini films. The decision to present some of the films as installations was intended to modernize the work by blurring the boundary between gallery and cinema.
“I truly think every generation should have a Pasolini retrospective.” Jensen told members of the press as she discussed how modernizing the retrospective would encourage younger generations to discover the artist’s work.