Shelly Nadashi’s A Good Bowl of Soup, 2013. A Brussels-based artist, Nadashi juxtaposes video, sculpture, writing, and performance in her work.
One of the hottest—and earliest—tickets of New York’s upcoming art-fair season is the New Museum’s 2015 triennial, opening February 25. Predictive in scope, “Surround Audience” highlights emerging artists, those “whose inventiveness is really shattering our understanding of what art is,” says celebrity video and installation artist Ryan Trecartin. For gallerists and collectors eager to glimpse the future of art—and to identify new talent before their work sells at high-end auctions—this is a requisite stop.
A cooperative effort by Trecartin and New Museum curator Lauren Cornell, the show includes works by 51 emerging artists from more than 25 countries. “Over the past few decades, we’ve experienced a major cultural shift, from where our engagement with the Web was something deemed outside of us—i.e., virtual or cyberspace—to something that is all around us, extending our bodies, changing our relationships and sense of life,” explains Cornell. “The show explores what it means to be increasingly surrounded in this way. Participating artists approach this topic from psychological, political, or totally poetic ways.”
Most of the artists in the exhibit were born after the Internet was launched, so it has been a constant throughout their lives; now, they’re exploring the ramifications through video, installation, digital animation, sculpture, sound, publishing, even branding.
“We started off thinking about all the artists whose work really interests us that are hard to ‘show,’” notes Trecartin, whose videos were in the first triennial. (Trecartin was hailed by The New Yorker as “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the 1980s.” While art galleries sell limited editions of his videos, he “slices through… bondage to commercial and institutional powers” by putting some of them on Vimeo for free.)
Some exhibitors are well known, at least in circles that debate the term “Post-Internet Art”: Josh Kline will explore “our willful dissolution of privacy” via the sharing economy and social media, in his installation Freedom (2015). Also on board are the collectives DIS (tapped to curate the 2016 Berlin Biennale) and K-Hole, whose contribution is also the triennial’s advertising campaign. Traditionalists might find advertising in a museum exhibition radical—which is precisely what Cornell and Trecartin are aiming for. “Both [collectives] are catalyzing a sea change not only in the art world but in the cultural sphere at large,” says Trecartin. “I don’t think their work and contributions are going to be fully understood until we are much further into this century. That exciting uncertainty is essential to a show about emerging ideas.” New Museum 2015 Triennial, February 25–May 24. 235 Bowery, 212-219-1222