Spring Arts Preview

The Art of Noise: Kraftwerk Comes to MoMA

Robots 3x.

MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach has seen the German electronic music group Kraftwerk play live many times, but when asked to name his favorite performance he didn’t hesitate. “In the [2009] Manchester International Festival, they played Tour de France in the velodrome,” he said, referring to the band’s most recent album, its eighth, released in 2003. The crowd watched the performance through 3D glasses as the national cycling team of Britain raced around the stadium. “They were so fast,” he recalled. “I think this was just the most delirious performance.”

This spring, Mr. Biesenbach, who also serves as chief curator-at-large at MoMA, will bring that delirium to the museum. For eight straight nights, April 10-17, its soaring atrium will play host to concerts by the famously reclusive group in what the museum is terming a “time-based retrospective,” titled Kraftwerk–Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.  Each night the quartet will perform one of its albums, moving in chronological order from the laid-back jams of Autobahn (1974) to the taut, precise Tour de France, accompanied by elaborate sets and visuals designed by the group.

To say the event proved popular would be a gross understatement. Read More