NYCAMS / New York Center for Art and Media Studies
44 West 28th Street, 7th Floor, 212-213-8052
October 28 - November 21, 2011
Reception: Friday, October 28, 6 - 8 PM
Curated by Donald Johnson-Montenegro
Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Hai Bo, Simon Denny, Brent Dickinson, James Benjamin Franklin, Egan Frantz, Rico Gatson, Scott Lyall, Maix Mayer, Christopher McDonald, Ann Pibal, Florian Slotawa, Garth Weiser, Ivan Wittenstein
Certainly there is no shortage of articles, videos, sound bites, tweets, etc, emphasizing the state of flux that characterizes today’s instantaneous and dynamic world. We are reminded by pundits, bloggers, advertisers, impresarios, curators, and politicians that we must adapt, readapt, and adapt again if we hope to be competitive in the job market, if our industries are to prosper, if our museums are to attract and connect with their audience, if we hope to survive. Our fixation with ceaseless change is pervasive. “Out with the old, in with the new” has accelerated from a generational transition to a perpetual one. Life now is at once coming and going.
Art can serve myriad roles and contain countless potentialities in any given culture and time; perhaps the principal role attributed to art in the modern era is tied to the notion of the avant-garde, of artists serving as the first warriors out on the battlefield of experimentation, pioneers in the fields of aesthetics, philosophy, and politics. Approached through this lens, modern art has pointed the way for society to follow, or at least struggled to reveal what might be possible. However, in this day and age the productivity and tenability of this model seems called into question; might it instead be more useful to consider contemporary art as functioning in the rearguard, so to speak? That is, by protecting and enabling us to “retreat,” rather than trying to burst us forward and perpetuate our collective cultural voracity for whatever might come next? One way art can and does operate today is by slowing down time, isolating and investigating the frantic staccato moments of transition that are indiscriminately jolting us ahead. In this way, contemporary art functions as a clamp, holding open the tissue of the world in which we live so that we might closely examine it. The artists included in this exhibition use this strategy to reveal connections and discrepancies that would otherwise pass us flying by.
Gallery Hours: M-F 10 am to 4 pm or by appointment. Contact: Janna Dyk 212.213.8052