New York, Circa 1993, at New Museum

February 11, 2013 | by —SIMONA RABINOVITCH | Homepage

Travel back in time with today's perspective by visiting the New Museum's groundbreaking new exhibition, “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star,” on view February 13 through May 26, 2013. Its name a nod to New York rock band Sonic Youth's 1993 album and featuring the work of more than 75 artists, the show examines the cultural, social, and economic climate of this important year. Taking up all of the museum’s five floors, the artworks on view collectively demonstrate how this pivotal year—its art, but also its current events, politics, attitudes, and emotions—still influence our perception of the present as well as contemporary artistic expression precisely 20 years later. 

“NYC 1993” also does a good job of juxtaposing the art of the day with historic events such as Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the standoff in Waco, Texas, the first World Trade Center bombing, and the march on Washington for gay rights. As these events unfolded, New York artists like Nari Ward, Janine Antoni, Matthew Barney, Cindy Sherman, and Sean Landers were creating the art that would define the year, and in some cases, the ’90s as a whole. To better connect the dots, the museum has created a visual timeline of key events and images from 1993 on its fifth floor. The whole shebang is completed by a catalogue and calendar of interactive public programs, like Get Weird: NYC 1993: An Evening with Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia (February 22 at 7 p.m.), wherein the two former Columbia University radio hosts—who were among the first to broadcast the demos of rappers like Biggie Smalls and Nas—will discuss 1993 and rap music. 235 Bowery, 212-219-1222

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