Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here And Elsewhere At The New Museum

The New Museum's current exhibition "Here and Elsewhere" is not something you would typically see in contemporary art galleries in New York. Featuring works from only Arab artists, the group show puts together 45 works that show, express, and discuss contemporary Arab life.

With such a broad theme that is unique to every artist who falls into the category of "Arab artist", the New Museum does a lovely job curating a wide selection of works of various mediums. Showcasing video, sculpture, installation, paintings, and so on, not one work is quite like another. While the works are all very different from a visual standpoint, many have reoccurring themes, such as violence, oppression, and lack of rights.

One of the larger pieces, "The Mapping Journey Project" by Bouchra Khalili (2008-2011), is a video installation that tracks the journey of immigrants illegally traveling from Africa to Europe. The piece is 8 video projections, suspended from the ceiling. Each projection has an ambiguous hand which draws on a map with a black marker. While doing so, they explain their immigration journey. Each video projection shows a different story of 8 immigrants, each with their own powerful story to tell of trials and escape.

Here And Elsewhere is on view at the New Museum until September 28th, 2014.


  1. This is a nice overview of the New Museum show, but is a bit vague and takes a bit too long to reach the piece that you want to point out. I wish you had discussed “The Mapping Journey Project” for longer and gone a bit further than merely describing the piece. Maybe you could give an example of the trials one of the immigrants went through on their long journey. I like the picture that you paired with the review. Also, the last sentence is unnecessary. I think this piece is very interesting also because of how it is presented - 8 separate screens with 8 individual benches.

  2. Your description gives nice description of the show, but I don't see any review of the show. I wish you explained more on the way it was installed and the piece itself. “The Mapping Journey Project” uses the medium mapping to describe each participant’s journey. This use of medium gives the audience sense of detachment while hearing tragic stories. This contradiction was the most interesting part of the work for me and I wish you could’ve talked about it little more. I would have like to hear more of your experience with the show then just a description.