press release

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
On view Nov 12, 2023 – June 16, 2024

Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom

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.