Thursday, September 23, 2010

"A Day LIke Any Other" worth exploring

Currently on view at the New Museum is the mid-career retrospective “A Day Like Any Other” by Rivane Neuenschwander. The show which features some of Neuenshwander’s most well know works like I Wish Your Wish (2003) that have been recreated for this exhibition.

I Wish Your Wish (2003) originally was installed in 2003 and the participants were asked to take a ribbon with a wish and then asked to replace the ribbon with another wish that they had handwritten on paper. The new incarnation of this project features 60 wishes from the viewers of the past project. The piece echoes of fears and hopes and the viewer finds themselves asking are they both? The piece is a rainbow of dreams filled tension. Like the previous piece Neunshwander is asking for the same interaction from her viewers and to become a part of the work.

The other pieces in the show ask for similar interaction between the artist and viewer. Conversations (2010) and homage to a Francis Ford Copola film explores privacy invasion and the white noise we often ignore. The piece is a bugged exhibition space and the viewer hears the sounds of the gallery space. You hear the white noise…the conversations, or sweet nothings.

In “A Day Like Any Other,” the viewer will be pleasantly surprised with the interaction and engagement they will experience while viewing Nuenschwander’s works. The artist has successfully created a dance between the public and each of her works creating an enchanting thought provoking experience.


  1. Neuenschwander’s retrospective spans a decade of the artist’s work featuring installation, painting, photography, sculpture and film. It is important for the reader to know what type of work is included in the exhibition since you only discuss installations. An introduction to the artist as a contributor to Brazilian Conceptualism (as described by the New Museum) may also assist your reader in understanding pieces such as, “I Wish Your Wish.” The use of wish ribbons comes from Brazilian tradition.

    I think that “I Wish Your Wish” would be more successful if more wishes were included in the installation. Sixty seems like a small number compared to the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of ribbons that hang in the space and the number of visitors who participate by sharing their wishes. It became less interesting when I found myself repeatedly uncovering the same ribbons. I would rephrase the second paragraph which deals with this work, particularly the instructions, in a more direct way if possible.

    Lastly, “The Conversation” (not “Conversations”) is also the name of the 1974 Coppola film. Change “ homage to a Francis Ford ”Coppola film...” to “ homage to the Francis Ford Coppola film..."

  2. I would suggest tightening your sentence structure and more succinctly introducing the subject. Simple phrases such as “currently on view” can easily be stricken because the nature of an art review usually involves “news,” which would make it time relevant. Because we are doing a 250-word art review I would also suggest more quickly getting into the meat of the argument and saying exactly what your thoughts were on the artwork. When you speak about artist/viewer interaction, maybe you could include some of your own analysis about your personal reaction such as: How exactly you were “pleasantly surprised,” what “thought provoking” things you experienced, or how you felt when you stood before the work? etc. Providing more specific details on your experience will help to engage your reader.