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MOCA Artist Film Series: Simon Leung

Still from War After War, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.

MOCA Artist Film Series: Simon Leung
War After War, 2011, 90 min.


MOCA Artist Film series, presented by The Edward F. Limato Foundation, is an active and dynamic platform for the presentation of artist films. Inspired by film and video works in MOCA’s renowned collection, the series will offer engaging and notable screenings and live programs with MOCA collection artists and beyond. With ongoing presentations in the Ahmanson Auditorium, screenings and Q&As will feature artists, historians, and critics in dialogue with special focus on experiments in long-form, narrative or feature-length films. Centered in the cinema capital of the world, these programs will explore the critical issues of our time and our place.

In War After War, 2011, artist Simon Leung (Hong Kong, 1964) offers a portrait of the mythical writer, translator, and art world figure Warren Niesłuchowski. The ninety-minute work unravels Niesłuchowski’s life in the first decade of the 21st century as a nomad without a home who depended on others to provide him with a bed for the night, week, month, or longer, while he traveled through North America and Europe as a perpetual guest. The work explores notions of hospitality, mortality, vulnerability, resistance, and living itself as an ethico-aesthetic proposition in the residual space of war. Leung’s video is also a rumination on friendship and the art world.

Leung will be present for a post-screening conversation with writer and curator Michael Ned Holte, Associate Dean, School of Art at Calarts.

MOCA Artist Film Series is organized by José Luis Blondet, Senior Curator with Alitzah Oros, Public Programming Associate, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

MOCA Artist Film Series is presented by The Edward F. Limato Foundation.

Simon Leung was born in Hong Kong and lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. A project-based artist, Leung’s work in various media include an opera set in Griffith Park; a live/video performance addressing AIDS in the figure of the glory hole; a trilogy on “the residual space of the Vietnam War;” an extended proposal of Duchamp’s oeuvre as a discourse in ethics; a meditation on the site/non-site dialectic by way of Edgar Allan Poe; context-specific works centering on the squatting body as a heuristic cipher; a long-term collaboration with the late art world figure Warren Niesłuchowski; and “art workers’ theater” dealing with the intersection of art/labor. Internationally, Leung’s work has been presented at the Generali Foundation (Vienna), 1A Space (Hong Kong), Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (Berlin), Sala Mendoza (Caracas), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (South Korea), Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing), and venues such as the Venice Biennale (2003), the Guangzhou Triennial (2008), and the Gwangju Biennale (2018). In the US, Leung’s work has also been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum, The Kitchen, Hessel Museum at Bard College, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hammer Museum, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture and the Whitney Biennial (1993). In 2024, Leung participated in two Southern California exhibitions: "Another Beautiful Country” at the USC Asia Pacific Museum; and “Scratching at the Moon” at ICA LA.