See Photos of the Highlights From the New Museum’s ‘Songs for Sabotage’ Triennial
Curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld, the show features 26 young artists.
A cartoon rap music video starring a sperm cell, a woven ode to the decline of manufacturing, a surprisingly ominous swing set, plus a plethora of painting—all this and more awaits visitors to the highly anticipated 2018 New Museum Triennial, on view in New York through May 27.
Titled “Songs for Sabotage,” the exhibition is curated by the museum’s own Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld, chief curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. The show features 26 artists, nearly all of whom were born outside the US, making this the triennial’s most international edition yet. (The exhibition is now in its fourth iteration.) About 80 percent of the work on view has been newly commissioned for the exhibition.
“Young artists have historically expressed a voice for change,” said Gartenfeld at the press preview, noting that curators’ goal was to highlight work that is deeply engaged with social, political, and economic issues. “Art is a part of the infrastructure in which we live, and if successful, might operate as propaganda.”
“These artists are 30 new voices, but they’re dealing with very old problems,” added Carrion-Murayari.
The full-scale aluminum swing set, Diamond Stingily’s E.L.G., offers an allusion to the violence all too often inflicted upon African American children, with a brick balanced precariously over the empty swing, and a ladder extending into empty space.
Zhenya Machneva reflects on the collapse of the Soviet Union in a series of tapestries depicting scenes of industrial factories. Her use of traditional weaving methods mirrors the demise of traditional manufacturing in the wake of technological advances.
Even Hardeep Pandhal’s Pool Party, Pilot Episode (2018), a colorful cartoon romp set to lip-tripping vocals as voiced by a sperm cell, reveals a satirical skewering of racist stereotypes, informed by the artist’s experiences growing up a second-generation Sikh in the UK.
With artists hailing from such disparate parts of the globe as Zimbabwe, Greece, China, South Africa, Haiti, and Hawaii, “Songs for Sabotage” covers a lot of ground, both thematically and geographically. “This is a long song,” Gartenfeld said. “I hope you’ll be humming along the tune.”
See more photos from the triennial below.
“2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage” is on view New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, February 12–May 27.
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