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Carl Craig: Party/After-Party

Installation view of Carl Craig: Party/After-Party, April 16–July 23, 2023 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Photo by Zak Kelley.

Carl Craig: Party/After-Party

Detroit-based techno DJ and producer Carl Craig’s immersive environment, Party/After-Party, 2020, is a visceral sound and somatic experience that evolves with each new iteration. Drawing on Craig’s 30-year career as an internationally touring DJ, Party/After-Party guides visitors sonically through a club night from the perspective of the DJ. Starting in those moments before the crowd arrives and the DJ spins alone, before reaching its crescendo with the party’s pulsing apex, and finally slipping towards the melancholic embrace of the after-party, the work evokes the collective ecstasy and desolation found only on a club dance floor.

Originally commissioned by Dia Art Foundation, this sonic statement responds directly to the architecture of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and reclaims the former manufacturing site and police storage facility as a space for agency and radical experimentation.

Upon entry, visitors are enveloped by Craig’s soundscape which honors the Black pioneers of techno and electronic music. As one moves through WAREHOUSE techno beats fill the space, the darkness broken intermittently by neon strips, before the skylights above flood everything with natural light, signaling the cycle’s peak and the transition towards “dawn.”

While Party/After-Party was conceived before the COVID-19 pandemic, the context of the past three years makes it impossible to enter the space and not crave the heat and thudding bass of clubs such as Berlin’s iconic Berghain, which Craig has headlined, while also acknowledging the collective loss of communal experiences. Beats build and recede, evolving slightly with every 30-minute evolution so that no two are the same, and at times incorporating references to Craig’s tinnitus, a byproduct of a lifetime of loud music; Party/After-Party is Craig’s invitation into his personal world and the spaces he shapes through sound.

Party/After-Party is accompanied by Party/After-Party Sessions, a series of three live concerts co-presented with Insomniac and Secret Project that are a continuation of the collaborations at the heart of Craig’s practice.
May 25 with DJ Holographic, Felix Da Housecat, King Britt, and Carl Craig
June 17 with Kenny Larkin, Kyle Hall, and Rimarkable
July 22 with Moodymann, DJ Minx, and Erno

Please be advised that Party/After-Party features low lighting and strobe effects.

The sound levels average 86 decibels, with occasional peaks as high as 97 decibels. Some visitors may wish to use hearing protection.

Party/After-Party was commissioned by Dia Art Foundation.

Carl Craig: Party/After-Party was curated by Kelly Kivland, former Curator at Dia Art Foundation, with Randy Gibson, Manager of Exhibition Technology. The Los Angeles presentation is organized by Alex Sloane, Associate Curator, with Anastasia Kahn, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Admission to Carl Craig: Party/After-Party is free courtesy of Carolyn Clark Powers.

Lead support is provided by Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss.

Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with generous funding provided by the Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation.

This exhibition is carbon calculated. The museum reduced greenhouse gas emissions through planning efforts and balanced the remaining emissions through Strategic Climate Fund donations. Support provided by the MOCA Environmental Council.

The artist thanks Christophe Chapelle, Sonic Lab Studio; Nazy Nazhand, Project Consultant and founder of Nazhand Art & Culture; and John Torres, Lighting Designer.

Party/After-Party Sessions is part of Wonmi’s WAREHOUSE Programs.

Wonmi’s WAREHOUSE Programs is founded by Wonmi & Kihong Kwon and Family.