Last week the contemporary art museum MoMA PS1 joined the ranks of the reopened with full pandemic protocols and two terrific new exhibitions in place. The powerful group show Marking Time: Art In the Age of Mass Incarceration, featuring works by people in prison and/or artists "concerned with state repression," and a multi-media, interactive installation in the courtyard, Rashid Johnson's Stage, are now on view.

As at all other museums in the city that have reopened in recent weeks, MoMA PS1 requires pre-ordered, timed-entry tickets, with capacity currently kept at below 25%, which translates into 40 guests an hour, but it feels like there's a whole lot fewer people than that inside. The hallways, galleries, and especially the courtyard (typically packed with revelers this time of year) are almost eerily empty. Temperature checks are given in the main entryway, exit is through the back, masks are required throughout, and viewing traffic is one-way throughout the galleries.

The great Mina's, a Mediterranean restaurant that functions as the museum cafeteria is also open, serving an extremely limited menu for now, and take-out only, but the food is as good as ever (really: that Cold Chickpea Salad and the slab of Olive Oil Cake may look somewhat austere in the photos, but the flavors are bright and lively). You'll find plenty of room to spread out at the picnic tables in the sprawling courtyard.

Also outdoors is Stage, Rashid Johnson's sound work and installation that requires your participation to fully come alive. The physical piece consists of a large wooden stage painted bright yellow and subtly embellished with Johnson's signature scribbles. Walk up the ramp, stand (or squat) before any of the five live microphones embedded therein (the varying heights of the mics are to encourage humility in your performance) and basically do whatever you want — the piece evokes open-mic nights, poetry slams, and public speaker's corners, and karaoke without the backing track. Johnson's own compositions play throughout the day. Masks are required while participating, and the mics are sanitized after each use.

Marking Time was all set to go last spring before the pandemic shut everything down, and though they moved the art down to the first floor (the only interior space open to the public right now), and added a few new works reflecting the pandemic's particularly devastating effect within America's prison system, it's the same show we all would have seen six months ago, and they've extended the run until April of 2021. Don't wait though — this is an outstanding exhibition, lengthy, deep, and rich, that rewards careful viewing and reading. Seeing it now, with so few people around, is pretty much ideal.

There are lots of individual pieces worth discussing in Marking Time, but just a few personal highlights include Mark Loughney's series of portraits, begun in 2014, of his fellow incarcerated people, each drawn in pencil during hastily improvised seatings of 20 minutes on "whatever paper he could acquire;" Gilberto Rivera's colorful, chaotic collages created during the COVID era; Daniel McCarthy Clifford's sculptures made from cafeteria trays and stools from Leavenworth; and Dean Gillispie's rural Americana miniatures, all seemingly operated by someone named Spiz, that he constructed clandestinely in his cell using "procured" materials.

MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, and is currently open Thursday through Monday from noon to 6 p.m. via pre-purchased, timed-entry ticket only. Free entry to New Yorkers. (