The design of our exhibition reverses the conventional presentation of art in the galleries of the MoMA. We will reduce the size of the familiar, spacious rooms that house the now classical media of art history - painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, and design - and place the emphasis on film and video, or rather specific fragments of them. The choice does not reflect the artistic taste of Herzog & de Meuron; it simply confirms an undeniable shift in imagery that has taken place in recent years. The moving image with explicit reference to violence, drama, and sex has received growing attention while the traditional artistic media of painting, drawing, or sculpture require special exhibitions with blockbuster potential in order to be perceived at all. Seen in this light, our installation does not represent the status of the media within the museum but rather that of the world outside. It also draws attention to the separation and classification into five departments defined by the MoMA at the beginning of the 20th century and still operative today: the Departments of Painting and Sculpture, Prints and Drawings, Photography, Film and Media, and Architecture and Design. Most of the exhibition galleries still conform to these categories, and only rarely do presentations exploit the friction of combining these artistic media in order to foster new insight and perceptions.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2006