Yankee Remix, Remix
Artists Take on New England

The exhibition was organized by Laura Steward Heon, MASS MoCA Curator
and Kenneth C. Turino, Exhibition Manager, Historic New England.

July 23 - September 4, 2004
Reception: Friday, July 23, 7 - 9 pm
Curator's Talk: Saturday, July 24 @ Noon
(gallery closed August 21 - 28)

Rina Banerjee, Zoe Leonard, Lorna Simpson, Frano Violich

and Martin Kersels at The Boston Center for the Arts

Images and Artist information

Visit MASS MoCA's archive of Original REMIX

At the core of this exhibition is an easy truism: objects mean different things to different people at different times. When this truism departs from the general and heads to the specific - which objects, what people, and when? - things get interesting. For Yankee Remix, Remix, the collection of Historic New England provided the objects ( and the “Yankee”) : domestic artifacts ( such as furniture, paintings, and kitchenware), archival materials (photographs, letters, architect’s drawings), and historic houses, all found in New England. Four artists whose bodies of work, though they differ greatly from each other, often allude to history and include pre-existing objects “remixed” this collection’s meaning. And they did it at a time when Yankee ideals and intentions were frequently contested both here and abroad.
From Crispus Attucks to a Burger King crown, the work in this exhibition teases out secrets and lies, examines the facts, and freely mixes mythology and history. These artists personalize, distort, even disregard the truth of Historic New England’s objects altogether. The result? The truism at the core of Yankee Remix, Remix has never been more true.
- Martin Kersels’ installation Sleeper’s Dream is on view at the Boston Center for the Arts.

MASS MoCA is the country’s largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts and is located in North Adams, Massachusetts, on a restored nineteenth-century factory campus. Since the Museum opened in May 1999, it has commissioned over 100 works by some of the most fascinating visual and performing artists of our time, as well as presenting thousands of risk taking contemporary works. An open platform for the production and presentation of new work, MASS MoCA has collaborated with a diverse group of arts institutions, including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Houston Contemporary Art Museum, and, of course Historic New England.
The exhibition, Yankee Remix, Remix, is a distilled version of a much larger exhibition, Yankee Remix, which was on view at MASS MoCA from May 2003 to March 2004. Historic New England ( then known as SPNEA) and MASS MoCA commissioned nine internationally renowned artists from five countries to make new work based on the collection of Historic New England for exhibition at MASS MoCA.

Historic New England
Historic New England is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive regional preservation organization in the country. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions. Historic New England owns and operates thirty-five historic properties in five states–modest dwellings of the first settlers, handsomely furnished merchants’ homes, treasure-filled collectors’ houses, and a landmark of twentieth-century architecture. Historic New England invites you to experience the lives and stories of the people who made New England what it is today.
The works of art in Yankee Remix, Remix are based on artifacts and images in Historic New England’s study collection, Library and Archives and house museums. The documentation of the collection is remarkably rich, containing information about owners and makers, family stories, historic photographs, and bills of sale. This wealth of facts creates a context that enriches each object’s meaning. For the exhibition Yankee Remix, Remix, the artists have reinterpreted Historic New England’s artifacts by framing them in surprising new ways.

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