MoMA PS1 Brings Us Warm Up, Solid Objectives Pole Dance & Greater New York

PS1 NYC young architects program pole dance with poles, netting and rubber balls

It's that time of year again, when hundreds (thousands?) of club kids and euro-tourists and hipsters and frat boys and young families and scenesters turn Long Island City's MoMA PS1 into an afternoon-into-nighttime sun-drenched dance party, every Saturday, from now until Labor Day weekend. It's called Warm Up, it takes place in the sprawling PS1 courtyard, and year in and year out, it is a total blast. We went to Warm Up's opening day last weekend, to dance and listen and sun and people watch and check out the huge and varied Greater New York show and, as it turns out, bounce on big yoga balls and twirl around some poles. The full report: 


MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program 2010 


Solid Objectives Pole Dance poles, rubber balls and children playing in the pools of water

For just over a decade now, MoMA PS1 NYC has sponsored the terrific Young Architects Program, in which emerging architecture firms compete to design and build the installation that will transform the museum's courtyard all summer long. The results have been mixed over the years–last summer's "hair village" was particularly ill-conceived, we thought, whereas Public Farm 1 of 2008 was pretty brilliant–but it's become a favorite summer ritual of ours, to check out the new structure. 

PS1 NYC features architectural design by Solid Objectives with poles to make rubber balls dance

This year's Young Architects Program winner was Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu, who give us Pole Dance, an elaborate system of light-weight, highly flexible poles laid out in a grid and connected by bungee cords and a vast netting "ceiling". Dozens of big, bright, bouncy balls sit in the netting, providing shade below… until they are knocked out into the courtyard via two drop points–one into a kiddie pool–and used as seats by the party-goers. This is great fun. Hammocks, misters, and a complicated audio device that turns the pole's movements–and, trust us, these babies get whipped around by revelers–into a soundscape add to the interactive pleasures of the installation. Count us as big fans of the Solid Objective Pole Dance.   

Orange hammock to lounge on with Solid Objective Pole Dance in the background


MoMA PS1 Greater New York Exhibition 


MoMA PS1 Greater New York Exhibition featuring metallic stacked boxes in a variety of colors

Inside the PS1 NYC museum–which, by the way, is housed in a former public school, and is one the best spaces in town to look at art–is the Greater New York show, PS1's quinquennial (that's every five years) survey of what's happening in the New York art scene right now. This summer's exhibition features work by 68 local artists in all manner of media, from painting and drawing to sculpture, video, photography, and several large-scale installations. And though the art itself at PS1 NYC is, unsurprisingly, something of a mixed bag, the energy and enthusiasm here is welcome and infectious, and there are enough clever or provocative or interesting or funny or, yes, even quite lovely pieces to make walking the warren of galleries here within the museum's three floors a real pleasure. 

Greater New York Exhibition at PS1 streamer of paper in various colors and graffiti walls


MoMA PS1 Warm Up 


A big crowd gathers at the PS1 Solid Objective Pole Dance event

The enormous success of Warm Up hasn't yet spoiled the fun of this once-somewhat-secret, now packed-to-the-(netted)-rafters party. We always go early to avoid the huge lines that snake around the NYC building by 4:30 or 5:00, but it remains a good crowd, a nice mix of regulars and first-timers, mostly young, mostly good-looking, everyone snacking and drinking beer and cooling off in the misters or in the pool and dancing and lounging and flirting and loving life here in the best city in the world. We like to sit on the stairs below the stage and take it all in. And the line-up of performers and DJs this summer is impressive, including Ratatat, Animal Collective (a DJ set, but still…), ?uestlove, James Murphy and plenty more.  

A large group on onlookers sit to watch DJ's take the stage at PS1 Warm Up party


MoMA PS1 NYC Summer Details 

MoMA PS1 is located at Jackson and 46th Avenues in Long Island City, near the E, 7 and G trains. The Water Taxi is also a popular transportation choice to the museum. Pole Dance will be up through September, Greater New York through October 18, and Warm Up happens every Saturday through September 4. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For lots more information about all of the above, please see the MoMA PS1 website.  

MoMA PS1 Warm Up Events

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