"Cloud Cuckoo Land", Moskowitz and Trager at Momenta

"Wanting things a certain way doesn't limit my utopic thinking."

"Our civilization values space over historical time"

"Oh, that's just Booker"

[three stills from the installation of the video of "Cloud Cuckoo Land", the quotes below each not necessarily matched to the scenes in which the lines occurred]

Wow. Do we need this now. Do we need this now? Do we need this now!


Aristophanes's "The Birds", whose "Cloud-Cookoo-Land" utopia inspired the title of Erik Moskowitz and Amanda Trager's video and sculptural installation at Moment Art is described as the first play to question the idea of human progress. In the 414 BC comedy two men, "Mr. Trusting" and "Mr. Hopeful", have fled the old world and together with a friendly Hoopoe and all the other birds, they go about erecting a perfect city in the clouds. In the end their utopia, or dream of an egalitarian state, is transformed into a dictatorship.

Moskowitz and Trager's own narrative collaboration involves a small family, the conventional home from which they walk away, the progressive commune which they join, and the hopes which they see dashed. Their disturbing 17-minute musical video is installed at Momenta in the midst of the sets and scrims used in its creation.

This is from the gallery's statement:

The familiar boundaries to which [the main character] clings and the unclear spatial relations within the gallery coalesce and call into question how we envision comfort and safety both societally and psychologically.