The New Museum holds 2015 Triennial with the title as “Surround Audience”. The curators of the Triennial, Lauren Cornell and the artist Ryan Trecartin showed 51 artists‘ works in one venue, so it was hard for them to avoid disappointing audiences. In 2015 Triennial, the two curators bring up the significant topics about technology, bodies, genders, ethnicities, and social-regulations. However, this show is too packed, too overflowing, and disorganized to “surround audience.”
Despite my disappointment, the third floor was the most successful in terms of display. The overall atmosphere was more organized by different four sections, where I could appreciate artworks in enough space. A key issue to the relationship of bodies to technology was strongly emphasized in the third floor.
What appealed to my eyes was “Not How People Move but What Moves Them”, an installation by Eva Kotatkova. Around yellow walls, she arranged bizarre shaped objects, which seem to physically activate/inactivate people. She created metal-framed gadgets recalling a steel-barred window or an experimental instrument, in a surrealistic aura. Combined with sculptures, drawings, photo-collages, and performance, the whole installation looked like the symbolic collections of human’s physical and mental constraint related to the institution, disciplines, frames, or even out body themselves. Her work was enough strong to evoke what technology really gives us in this era. Many of the Web 2.0 generation can surf around and conquer any cyber space, but instead may have worse our sight and body postures. In Kotatkova’s work, the conflicting amalgamation between helpful tools and torturing machine made audiences keep in tension. The viewers may ponder the border of our bodies and technologies, ceaseless human efforts, perverted imaginations, and even the awe of the institution in our society.
Through Eva Kotatkova’s artworks, the two curator of 2015 Triennial might be able to avoid severe criticism. They made a great harmony between Kotatkova’s work and others’ photographs, videos, and installations in the third floor, by reminding audiences of what surround us. At least, the third floor’s exhibition at the New Museum might be valuable for viewers to look around.