MGMT pulled out all the stops for their two sets at the Guggenheim Museum in New York last Thursday and Friday nights. Appearing as part of the museum’s 2011 International Gala, the psych-pop band performed a multi-part, 45-minute composition written as a response to the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, whose sculptures dangled from the museum’s ceiling as part of a massive mobile. Perhaps even more striking was the band’s light show, created by video artist and frequent MGMT collaborator Alejandro Crawford. Hive interviewed him in advance of the two Guggenheim performances. Crawford’s installation — which consisted of hundreds of strips of LED lights affixed to the inner rings of the museum’s spiraling rotunda — helped to solidify the link between MGMT’s mostly instrumental performance and Cattelan’s sculptures. Walking up the museum’s ramp, showgoers were able to appreciate Cattelan’s hyperrealist works up close as they were bathed in washes of saturated light that pulsed in time with the music. While a pop-oriented band like MGMT and a morbid, transgressive artist like Cattelan might seem like strange bedfellows, as Friday night’s set proved, sometimes juxtaposition can serve to illuminate.
Check out the photos of MGMT’s Guggenheim performance. All photos by Mehan Jayasuriya for MTV Hive.