- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Jean-Michel Othoniel: Secret Flower Sculptures
- Nari Ward: Divination X
- Luisa Rabbia: Waterfall
- Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community
- Sophie Calle: Last Seen
- Hamra Abbas: Wall Hanging I
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- Joan Bankemper: A Gardener's Diary
- Lee Mingwei: Living Room
- Josiah McElheny
- Abelardo Morell: Face to Face
- Mona Higuchi: Bamboo Echoes
- Juan Muñoz: Portrait of a Turkish Man Drawing
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By 2010
- Tess Fredette and Melvin Moti discuss a tapestry undergoing restoration in the Little Salon, 2010.
- Tess Fredette and Melvin Moti in the Textile Conservaton Lab, 2010.
- Anne-Marie Eze showing Moti a Book of Hours with illustrations by Jean Bourdichon.
- Melvin Moti inspects a wall sample taken from the Carriage House showing blue paint, 2010.
- Melvin Moti working in the galleries, 2010
- Melvin Moti working in the galleries, 2010.
- Melvin Moti working in Archives, 2010.
Melvin Moti’s (b. 1977 The Netherlands) work gives form to a forgotten incident, a historical moment, an anecdote or a scientific fact and is always based on intensive research and study. Moti slows down the interplay between sound and action in his films encouraging viewers to listen; to observe less passively; to hunt for clues; to embark on a journey of discovery. The films are accompanied by a single human voice, enunciating a thoughtful evocative narrative, which is punctuated by beautiful slow moving images. Sound and image induce a hypnotic effect
Melvin Moti has exhibited at the FRAC Champagne, Reims, France; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany; the Kunstverein Köln, Cologne, Germany; Wiels Centrum voor Hedendaagse kunst, Brussels, Belgium; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; The MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, USA; and MUDAM, Luxembourg. His work was also featured at the 5th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2008). Moti studied at the Academie Voor Beeldende Vorming in Tilburg from 1995 to 1999 and at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 1999 to 2001, where he now teaches. Melvin Moti lives in Rotterdam.
A week before taking up residence at the Gardner Museum in November 2010, Melvin Moti installed Prisoner’s Cinema (2008) at The MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge. This film was based on the artist’s research into hallucinations caused by visual deprivation. Museum members and staff were afforded the unusual opportunity to experience the artist’s work first hand and to hear him speak at a lecture at MIT a few weeks into his residency. At the museum, Moti was often found in the Archives doing research. He studied a wide range of materials including photo albums of the Gardner’s Green hill and Beacon St. residences; Mrs. Gardner’s travel albums from Cuba, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Austria; photographs of the museum’s 1901 construction site and the surrounding landscape; as well as information pertaining to the gravesites of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s dogs Foxey and Roly in the South Garden. Moti also viewed an exquisite Book of Hours by Jean Bourdichon from the Long Gallery; he examined the museum’s collection guides from 1909-1960; correspondence from naturalist and writer Hans Coudenhove regarding a cage of birds in the Courtyard; and documents concerning the lawsuit filed against the Trustees over usage of the fourth floor as office space and the permissions process for creating Special Exhibition Gallery on the first floor in the early ‘90s.
Melvin Moti spent hours in the courtyard talking to the horticultural staff, learning about the museum’s conservation efforts to restore the Tapestry Room to its arrangement at the time of Gardner’s death, and taking photographs in the galleries. He was particularly drawn to the color blue used by Isabella Stewart Gardner to paint several areas of the museum. Gardner had observed this color in the 1897 at Stefano Bardini’s gallery in Florence, where she purchased a number of items. She acquired the recipe and a paint chip from Bardini with the help of Bernard Berenson. Over the years sections of the blue walls were repainted many times and as time went by, the recipe grew more and more difficult to reproduce as time had altered both the original paint chip and the wall paint. Each attempt to recreate the imagined “Bardini Blue” has turned out differently, creating a subtle patchwork of different shades and sheens. Moti did further research in the museum’s files and compared the paint chip to several spaces in the museum where layers of paint had been exposed and to a sample of wall taken from the Carriage House before it was razed in 2009.