Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Triennial: Surround Audience

The New Museum exhibition 'Surround Audience' presents a collection of works by 51 young artists, most born in the 1980s. The building-wide exhibition encompassed various artistic practices, including sound, installation, sculpture, painting and video. As a person living in the digital age, this exhibition was interesting to me because art and technology are inextricably linked these days. My favorite piece in this exhibition was "The New Psychology" series (2015) by Mexican artist José León Cerrillo. This series was a site-specific structure that transects the space and its walls. In his work, the interesting point was that visitors can view the work of other artists' piece through a negative space of frames. I liked mysterious feeling that this work exists, but at the same time it doesn't exist. Also, I liked shadows and forms that looks different depending on position. 

However, after seeing whole floors, the feeling I got from this exhibition was that although the entire exhibition was filled with various genres of works, if anything the exhibition space ironically felt somewhat empty. It was difficult to shake off the ambiguous feeling of being uncertain what message the exhibition was trying to convey. It was a regretful feeling to wonder what the exhibition would have been like if, in the planning stages, more research was done on the artists in order to make conceptually clearer divisions of the pieces.      


  1. The installation pieces that you mentioned was my favorite too. I got an bizarre feeling as soon as I got off an elevator on the floor where the installation pieces were present; because the work aroused illusion and curiosity in terms of optical reaction itself and correlations with other's work. I also agree with your point that there wasn't no union thematically or visually. I just thought it is a certain type of limitation of Biennale exhibition to offer "diverse aspects". In chaotic atmosphere in this biennale, finding out contrasts and harmonies between different artworks can be the beauty of this exhibition, I think. On the other hand, there are some ambiguous expression, which you illustrated above, so I suggest you should articulate your point more precisely and concisely.

  2. Nice overview of the show!

    I liked your description of José León Cerrillo’s work. There is one sentence that is a bit confusing: “I liked mysterious feeling that this work exists, but at the same time it doesn't exist.” Consider re-working.

    Also, have you looked into the artist who curated the show? Ryan Trecartin is a video artist. Perhaps doing a little bit of research about him and his work could help give you more insight into why the exhibition was curated in this particular manner. It might even be worth mentioning who curated the show in your introduction.