As the indefatigable James Franco is supremely qualified to teach us, there's no such thing as too much school. He'll continue to compliment his studies with guest instructorships next month when he and current collaborator filmmaker Gus Van Sant lead a free summer school program at MoMA PS1—but hurry, registration opened yesterday!
The Master Classes in Summer School will run throughout August, and be taught by Franco, Van Sant, and media theorist Francisco J. Ricardo (who actually has a Ph.D. and teaches at RISD). Fellow popular-with-the-kids young artists Laurel Nakadate and Ryan Trecartin—both of whom currently have solo shows at MoMA PS1—will also be making guest appearances in the former public school's classrooms.
In addition to teaching, Van Sant and Franco will get to screen their recent collaboration—in which Franco edited cutting room floor footage of River Phoenix from the My Own Private Idaho dailies into a new film with a Michael Stipe score entitled My Own Private River—in the museum's basement screening room in rotation with a selection of films (Jeanne Dielman, Satantango, etc.) that form part of the Summer School curriculum. But what exactly will these free classes teach you?
Modeled after European summer academies and especially relevant considering that MoMA PS1 is housed in a former school, Summer School makes the museum grounds a campus again with Master Classes taught by contemporary practitioners. The intimate space of the museum provides a setting for candid conversation, experimentation and practice. As a part of the program, students attending the first Master Class will be assigned "homework" for the subsequent sessions, establishing an ongoing, sustained dialogue between teachers and students, institution and visitor.