Since the city went into lockdown because of the pandemic, Gotham's major museums have moved online to share their exhibitions and holdings with New Yorkers sheltering in place. These web experiences offer much-needed diversions in troubled times, and that's doubly true of "A Piece of Work," a podcast tour of collection highlights at the Museum of Modern Art hosted by comedian and actor Abbi Jacobson.
Promising "everything you wanted to know about modern and contemporary art but were afraid to ask," "A Piece of Work" is co-produced by WNYC and features the Broad City and Disenchantment star as she ponders the meaning of contemporary art, often in the company of famous friends.
In one segment, Jacobson discusses the in-and-outs of performance art with RuPaul, who allows that she likes anything with naked people and fat butts in it. This leads to a discussion of Sir Mix-A-Lot before segueing into a conversation about Carolee Schneemann's classic art performance, Meat Joy. In another episode, Jacobson's Broad City co-star Hannibal Buress joins her for an encounter with Marcel Duchamp's iconic, ur-conceptual artwork, Bicycle Wheel, which consists of the eponymous object mounted onto a wooden stool. Buress’s reaction is to label the piece “so Williamsburg,” while also pleading to spin it.
You may wonder what qualifies Jacobson as an art connoisseur, but in fact she went to art school and makes art. And while her guest sometimes sound like they're poking fun of what they see, Jacobson uses humor to make modern and contemporary art fun—and we could all use a little fun right now.