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Laurence Kardish joined MoMA from the New American Cinema Group to help develop Cineprobe, a forum for independent and avant-garde filmmakers, which has grown into MediaScope and Modern Mondays, an international series of new and experimental moving-image work.
Kardish has organized hundreds of exhibitions for MoMA including Senegal: Fifteen Years of an African Cinema (1978), Colombian Cinema: From Magic to Realism (1990), Positif: 50 Years (2002), Im Kwon-Taek (2004), Pere Portabella (2007), and Goran Paskaljevic (2008). Kardish also organizes annual presentations of new cinema from Germany and Canada and has served on the selection committee of the annual New Directors/New Films festival since its inaugural season in 1972.
From 2000-2006 Kardish coordinated Projects, a museum-wide exhibition series devoted to the work of emerging and cutting-edge artists in all media. He has written extensively for catalogues and publications by MoMA and other film archives and festivals. Among his published works are Junction and Journey: Trains and Film (1991), Berlinart: 20 Films (1987), and Reel Plastic Magic (1972), a film history text that continues to be used in some high schools.
Kardish also wrote, directed and produced Slow Run (1968), an independent feature narrative film for which the original negative is on deposit at the National Film and Television Archive in London. Kardish is working on a comprehensive film retrospective of the Korean director Kim Ki-Duk (April 2008) and on an exhibition of the Dutch media artist AERNOUT MIK for 2009.
“Carleton gave me the freedom to establish the first ‘cine-club’ on campus. I was able not only to curate my first program but to learn first hand how to organize a film series,” says Kardish. “This lead to part-time work at the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa and directing a film seminar on campus in the summer of 1966. The critics I brought from New York thought I could find work in that city, and since I had been accepted at Columbia to do graduate work in film, I relied on their introductions to support myself while studying. The opportunities I took at Carleton to explore new fields proved invaluable.”