The artist duo Megawords (Dan Murphy, American, born 1976; and Anthony Smyrski, American, born 1980) creates installations that are equal parts gathering space, event venue, artist studio, and store. The artist Zoe Strauss and the Museum invited them to design this installation as a satellite component of the exhibition Zoe Strauss: Ten Years
, on view in the Honickman and Berman Galleries. Megawords has created a two-part zone in which to interact with people and offer alternatives to the ways visitors usually inhabit the Museum. The alcove presents publications that form a constellation of ideas and concerns central to Megawords’ thinking. To the left of the alcove is a workspace for the artists, and a site for public programs, but it is also available as an area where visitors can relax, read, and ask questions.
Photography and public installations are important to both Megawords and Zoe Strauss. Megawords’ eponymous magazine consists primarily of photographs by Murphy and Smyrski as well as their numerous collaborators, documenting life and art in cities across the globe. A new issue of the magazine has been created specifically for this Museum installation. Collaboration and DIY art projects are critical to Megawords’ practice, and the production of the resulting works is always as important as their display. They treat every aspect of an installation’s design, construction, and use as a relevant creative act. Within this installation, they will produce a range of materials including artist books by several of their peers.
Ownership of public space is the central matter at stake in all Megawords projects. Who gets to design, decorate, and use public places—including museums? Who has the authority to define how and for whom our cities and public institutions function? Megawords insists that we all do, but we must roll up our sleeves and literally make the spaces—both physical and imaginative—where we want to meet, think, work, and play.
The artists will be present every Friday from 12-6 pm. As a service to the public a notary will be available in the space every Friday afternoon from 3-5 p.m.