While the year 1993 may be historically arbitrary, what this art world cross-section offers instead is a turning point. “It’s a moment in which you can see the 80s coming to an end and a new era, for better or for worse,” said curator Massimiliano Gioni.
Tara Hart, the New Museum’s digital archivist, testified to the exhaustive nature of the project. “Since we’re not a collecting museum, there was no physical archive in place,” she said. For the job, the museum hired scores of interns from library science programs, who tracked down yellowing 30-year-old press releases in public storage facilities scattered around the city to accumulate a comprehensive image catalog.
After all the prim attendees filed in and sat in the New Museum theater (which was not at full capacity, as the couple next to me noted, quite surprised), James Franco walked on stage to introduce the video. Franco was particularly upset that Renfro’s name hadn't been mentioned, along with the year's other recently deceased actors, at the Oscars in 2008, the year he died. ”I felt like it had such a slap that he didn’t get mentioned," Franco said. "That’s what he gave his life to."
Artist Jibz Cameron, as Dynasty Handbag, takes green-screen adventures into the real world at the New Museum
“Welcome to the show. Oh, Oh my goodness, here she comes now!” the owl announces as music plays and Cameron dances and shimmies onscreen, backed by a rainbow light show reminiscent of a little girl’s Lite-Brite creation and wearing a splatter-paint bathing suit over low-slung, blue-and-white patterned pants, her hips exposed. Her hair is mussed and matted by her ears, and she's got bright pink lipstick around a wide grin. Cameron pushes almost everything to the brink of the absurd, yet the dating game still holds together, and it's funny.
‘The Ungovernables’ is more serious and political than its predecessor, but still has a hard time defining a generation
The Ungovernables is a decidedly more somber, serious, and confident affair than Younger Than Jesus. Its title is less provocative too, but that underscores a rather self-conscious ambition. The curator, Eungie Joo, attempts to pack a more substantive punch into this exhibition by asserting highly personal—often political—engagement with the world as the synchronizing force of youth and globalism. The subtext for all of this is undoubtedly the revolutions in the Arab world and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the West. The show’s seriousness, however, is often pleasantly and contemplatively played out through the strength of the individual works.(3)
Billboards on the High Line, Ab-Ex all over town, plus Cattelan, Levine, Holler: A year-end art-crawl
If you’re in town for the stretch before New Year’s with time and/or visiting family on your hands, you can go stir-crazy thinking the city's fast asleep 'til 2012. But right now there’s actually a good deal of great art—in museums and galleries and city parks—still on view and mainly free. But act now, since most of these items are ending soon.(1)
Carsten Holler's show at the New Museum would have you participate, but leaves little to the imagination
The New Museum requires signed waivers to use Höller’s slide and tank, and a credit card, as a damage deposit, to wear his upside-down glasses through the show. (You are also warned not to move your head too quickly, for fear of breaking them.) No bags or purses are allowed on the slide, and must be checked, or left behind at the slider’s risk.