New Photography at MoMA: Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink by Taylor Dafoe Ilit Azoulay, Zbynek Baladran, Lucas Blalock, Edson Chagas, Natalie Czech, DIS, Katharina Gaenssler, David Hartt, Mishka Henner, David Horvitz, John Houck, Yuki Kimura, Anouk Kruithof, Basim Magdy, Katja Novitskova, Marina Pinsky, Lele Saveri, Indre Serpytyte, Lieko Shiga at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
November 7th - March 20th, 2016
The language of visual information in the digital age has a surprising connection to water: video streams, .wav files, image pools, torrents. All this leads up to the biggest metaphoric aquatic body yet: what the MoMA Department of Photography calls the “Ocean of Images.”
Ocean of Images marks the 30th anniversary of MoMA’s New Photography series. It also signals a few changes to the show. Previously an annual event featuring the work of a handful of artists, in its new guise the sho... [more]
We cannot begin any assessment of the work of Frank Stella without the obligatory quote that has followed his career for over fifty years. “What you see is what you see” was Stella’s painterly philosophy distilled down to seven words. If there is a definition of Minimalism that is more succinct, it has yet to replace Stella’s as a key to understanding a certain type of particularly American painting in mid-century art history.
At the Whitney Museum we have a chance to ca... [more]
Jared Madere’s untitled installation, currently on view at the Whitney, is versatile. It might rest equally comfortably in an abandoned lot in Bushwick or on top of a mountain in Nepal. It’s hard to tell, though, whether the work is happy in its current environment, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery on the first floor. Curated by Christopher Y. Lew, who was recently named co-curator of the 2017 Whitney Biennial with Mia Locks, this is Madere’s first solo exhibition as well a... [more]
When I was younger, my parents spent an exorbitant amount of time shopping at the department store Sears. It was one of the kid-in-tow errands I most detested. As a child, I considered this habitat overwhelming and exhausting: the overzealous salespeople, the crowds, the smells of new products and open boxes, the corny advertisements, the endless special offers. From entrance to exit, accompanying my parents on their routine department store escapade was a first-hand lesson in what I now know to be... [more]
[Please be advised. This article contains imagery of 9/11 that may be upsetting to some readers.]
Another ISIL attack in the West, a threat on Washington D.C. and New York City, and the false sense of security that allows for the prosperity of the West to continue is shaken. The combination is just enough to entice xenophobic trolls to get the people’s blood boiling, again. These tragic moments of terror recur with a frequency that has become divorced from, yet prescriptive of our current state of reality. The regime of safety, th... [more]
People wandered into the Colony, a designer co-op in Chinatown, in pairs and groups. We positioned ourselves in the middle of a minimal showroom of contemporary case goods and textiles, facing the cloth backdrop and cardboard props that set the stage for Duets, a performance by David Gilbert and Paul Pescador presented on November 8 as part of Performa 15. The set was crafty but well crafted, with a cardboard cityscape lit from inside and paper stars on the night-sky black background.
In Duets, Gilber... [more]
Jérôme Bel’s oft-controversial repertoire found a new tone, precious and heartwarming, in his new Performa 15 commission, Ballet (New York). As the audience poured in, sunlight filled the Martha Graham Studio Theatre with long blocks of gold. At 3:30, an ensemble filed in, a line-up whose attire was as varied as their bodies, which comprised all ages, abilities, and races. The group also had performances at Marian Goodman Gallery, and the finale will be at El Museo del Barrio (on N... [more]
We live in a digitally manipulated world where Photoshop and Instagram filters are essential everyday tools in public image making. In movies, CGI tricks the audience into believing the impossible by making it visually plausible. In art, we're used to seeing similar qualities: digital tools and graphic design resources have leaked into other creative mediums, achieving through aesthetics what the naked eye fails to see. Yet there are artists who embrace the digital realm, paradoxically, by avoid... [more]
“I’ll persevere, I am not precious, over-daintyIn wifehood I will use mine instrumentAs freely as my Maker hath it sent.”
—The Wife of Bath by Geoffrey Chaucer
In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath argues against the primacy of virginity within the Church; someone is procreating to birth the virgin and therefore what is chaste is also ephemeral. She sees this as a flaw in God’s plan, and consequently, will reject purity and instead assume sexua... [more]
Something tells me you’ll want to sit for this. You may even want to lie down, as your brain pulsates and heartbeat shifts. Your thoughts are sucked into a vortex of sound; your sense of self absorbed into vibrating air molecules. The more you focus on perception, the more unmoored your mind becomes. And that’s just the first ten minutes.
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House intends to reorient you: mind, body, and spirit. Currently at Dia:Chelsea, this sonic and visual... [more]
When I first heard of Shaun Leonardo’s performance project, I Can't Breathe—a performance that taught spectators self-defense moves like how to break a chokehold if they are in a situation where they are being accosted—I was skeptical of its merit. Was it benefiting from a tragedy, or addressing real concerns? Would it incite citizens to resist arrest, or would it give people a sense of agency if they ever felt unjustly threatened? The performance follows the death of Eric Garner a... [more]
A week from my deadline, I was regretting the assignment I’d asked for: an article about street art in Bushwick. The source of my slowly developing dread about the piece, apart from the challenge of avoiding the issue of gentrification as a central consideration, was my sense of inadequacy as a journalist. I tend to get distracted and lose sight of the angle, and I hate conducting ad hoc interviews. So instead of scheduling meetings and striking up convos with local residents, and with pl... [more]
“Icon” and its derivatives are some of the most overused words in arts writing today. We’re all guilty of bumping an artist up to “iconic” status with a little rhetorical flourish. Sure, some artists really embody the word—Warhol comes to mind—but we typically deploy “iconic” as a hyperbolic substitute for “famous,” “memorable,” “influential,” or—at worst—shorthand for “What do you mean you a... [more]
Tree of Codes is the collaborative production of three artists practicing at the forefront of the performing and visual arts today: choreographer Wayne McGregor, artist Olafur Eliasson, and producer/DJ Jamie xx. The full-length ballet, which completed its US premiere run at the Park Avenue Armory this week, was inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s conceptual novel of the same name.
The label “writer” attributed to Foer for this work is somewhat imperfect. At once a sculptural object and work of l... [more]
Political "photograffeur" artist JR has revealed the movie poster for his forthcoming short film, The Ghosts of Ellis Island, to his 661k Instagram followers. The artist’s third feature film–written by Oscar-winning writer Eric Roth—is to star Hollywood veteran actor Robert De Niro.
The story centers on New York’s Ellis Island, a crucial entryway to the U.S. for immigrants seeking refuge between 1892 and 1954. In the film, JR will uncover a new layer of the New York monumen... [more]