From MTV to YouTube, Queens Exhibit Explores Evolution of the Music Video

By Jeanmarie Evelly on March 18, 2013 2:44pm 

ASTORIA — It's MTV, curated.

For the first time, the influence of the music video as an art form is being celebrated in a museum exhibit coming to Queens next month.

"Spectacle" will open April 3 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, and promises to be the "the most comprehensive museum exhibition on music videos presented to date," according to a press release.

The exhibit will explore the connection of music and video from as early as the emergence of the Vitaphone to today's viral hits.

It will also feature props straight from the sets of several iconic videos, including original drawings from A-ha's animated "Take on Me," the ship from the Smashing Pumpkins' video for "Tonight, Tonight" and a human-size milk carton — recreated especially for the exhibit — from Blur's "Coffee and TV."

"Music videos have never properly been recognized or celebrated as an art form," co-curator Jonathan Wells said in a statement. "It is such an important medium of creative expression."

Interactive installations will feature hundreds of videos, including a number of MTV-era hits from the likes of Devo, Madonna, David Bowie, Talking Heads and The Beastie Boys.

In May and June, the museum will host a film series in conjunction with the exhibit. "Play This Movie Loud" will include big-screen concert films, documentaries and fiction films as well as workshops relating to music videos led by the museum's staff.

“Music and the moving image have been linked since the dawn of sound, from Vitaphone shorts and concert documentaries to MTV and the web," museum director Carl Goodman said in a press release. "Today, when the success of a viral video can make a hit song, the power and cultural significance of the music video are as strong as ever."

"Spectacle" will run from April 3 to June 16 at the Museum of the Moving Image at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria.

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