Release Date: March 22, 2017

Programs in Conjunction with The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin at the Jewish Museum

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New York, NY, March 14, 2017 - In conjunction with the new exhibition, The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, the Jewish Museum will present a series of public programs, including a day-long performance by musician John Zorn and poet Kenneth Goldsmith on June 4 and a walking tour led by Goldsmith and exhibition curator Jens Hoffmann on April 30.

Further program and ticket information is available by calling 212.423.3337 or online at All programs are at the Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, Manhattan.


This Is How We Do It
Tuesday, April 4, 2 pm

Free with Museum Admission; RSVP Recommended
Shira Backer, Leon Levy Curatorial Associate, The Jewish Museum, leads a walkthrough of The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin and speaks about the process of organizing the exhibition.

Dialogue and Discourse: Boris Groys and Michael Taussig
The Gertrude and David Fogelson Lecture
Thursday, April 13, 6:30 pm
Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission; RSVP Recommended

Boris Groys, Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University, and Michal Taussig, Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, will discuss the relationship between critical theory, philosophy, anthropology, contemporary art and the work of Walter Benjamin. The conversation will be moderated by Jens Hoffmann, Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs, The Jewish Museum, and curator of The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin.

Bang on a Can: Performance by Vicky Chow
Thursday, April 27, 7:30 pm
Tickets: $18 General; $15 Students and Seniors; $12 Members and Bang on a Can List Members

Pianist and Bang on a Can All Stars member Vicky Chow will play Tristan Perich’s Surface Image for solo piano, a monumental performance-installation with 40-channel 1-bit electronics, echoing the shimmering quality of Paris’ 19th century arcades and inspired by Walter Benjamin’s renowned essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

Walking Tour: New York Flânerie
Sunday, April 30, 3 pm
Tickets: $10 General Admission, $5 Students, Seniors, and Jewish Museum Members
- Space is limited, advance reservation required
In the spirit of Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Flâneur, the idle city stroller and boulevardier, exhibition curator Jens Hoffmann and author Kenneth Goldsmith, who contributed annotations to the exhibition and catalogue, will lead a walking tour of their favorite Manhattan landmarks.

In Response: The Arcades
Sunday, May 7, 6:30 pm
Free with RSVP

Columbia University Visual Arts MFA candidates and recent alumni present new video, performance, and installation-based artworks in response to The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin.

Performance: Paris Capital of the 19th Century / New York Capital of the 20th Century
Sunday, June 4, 11:30 am-5:45 pm
Free with Museum Admission; RSVP Recommended

Musician John Zorn and poet Kenneth Goldsmith will present a day-long series of collaborations inspired by Benjamin's masterpiece, The Arcades Project. Every half hour throughout the day, the artists will present a series of readings followed by live music in the galleries exploring the themes of prewar Europe and postwar New York.

Gallery Talks
Free with Museum Admission; RSVP Recommended

Thematic explorations of select works of art in The Arcades, led by members of the Education Department:

The Activist Shopper
Fridays, April 7 and 28, June 2, 2 pm
A discussion of the intersection of capitalism and the public sphere in modern society, with a focus on Walter Benjamin's political ideas. Led by Chris Gartrell, Assistant Manager of Adult Programs.

Collecting Fragments
Fridays, April 21 and July 7, 2 pm
An exploration of fragmentation as a way of processing information, creating art, and understanding the world around us. Led by Nelly Silagy Benedek, Director of Education.

The Flâneur Past and Present
Fridays, May 5, June 16, and July 21, 2 pm
An examination of the 19th century concept of the “Flâneur,” with a consideration of the culture and transformation of modern city life. Led by Theresa Hioki, Education Associate.

Public programs are made possible by endowment support from the William Petschek Family, the Trustees of the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, Barbara and Benjamin Zucker, the late William W. Hallo, the late Susanne Hallo Kalem, the late Ruth Hallo Landman, the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund, with additional support from Marshall M. Weinberg, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation, the Saul and Harriet M. Rothkopf Family Foundation, and Ellen Liman. Additional support is provided by Lorraine and Martin Beitler and through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

About the Jewish Museum

Located on New York City’s famed Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum is a distinctive hub for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Founded in 1904, the Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. Devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, the Museum offers intellectually engaging exhibitions and programs, and maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years.

Location: 109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City

Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm.

Admission: $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members. Pay What You Wish on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm. Free on Saturdays.

Information: The public may call 212.423.3200 or visit

Press contacts

Daniela Stigh and Alex Wittenberg
The Jewish Museum
212.423.3271 (general inquiries)