Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 Triennial: Surround Audience

The New Museum exhibition 'Surround Audience' presents works by 51 young artists, most born in the 1980s. The building-wide exhibition included various artistic practices, including sound, installation, sculpture, painting and video. This exhibition was interesting to me because art and technology are inextricably linked these days. My favorite works in this exhibition were "The New Psychology" series (2015) by Mexican artist José León Cerrillo. The series was a site-specific structure that transects the space and its walls. In his work, visitors can view the work of other artists' pieces through a negative space of frames. I liked shadows and structures that looks different depending on position.

However, after seeing the other floors, I felt that though exhibition was filled with much work, the exhibition space felt somewhat empty. It was difficult to shake off the ambiguous feeling 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.      

Friday, May 1, 2015

Giuseppe Penone: Indistini confini/ Inddistinct Boundaries

Marian Goodman Gallery presents an impressive new show of sculptures by Giuseppe Penone. A member of the Arte Povera group, he continued throughout his career to explore the connections between natural and cultural forms. In the show, “Indistinti confini/ Indistinct Boundaries”, Penone also continued to combine natural objects with manmade materials.

I was impressed by his works' harmony although a huge gap between wood and marble. He carefully carved into a part of wood and covered empty space with marble. I had an experience in carving stone before, so I know how hard it is to carve the detail of wood exquisitely. So his work came as a surprise to me. The color of his work, mostly white blended in with this white cube gallery and it was relax my eyes. His installation view also reminded me of the scene of calm snowy days. 

In another floor, there were a big shell sculpture and some drawings. In drawings, there were various shapes of tree and while seeing his drawings, I could feel his time and effort about the natural shapes of tree. And a big shell piece with wood pedestal was interested to me. The normal shell is used to me, however as enlarging its size, it came to me in the unfamiliar way. As overall view, I was excited about this work and I can't wait for his next exhibition. 

Much to be Desired: Triennial exhibition Surround Audience- edited

Much to be Desired: Triennial exhibition Surround Audience 

Heavy on the technology and Internet-themed works, Surround Audience presents the work of 51 early career artists including Steegmann Mangrané and his piece, "Phantom". "phantom" uses the technology of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality gaming gear. "Oculus was looking for an opportunity to unveil its technology in a public way" Steegmann Mangrané stated, and everyone there seemed to love the experience. StAnding in line, you patiently wait your turn, while hearing each person go and gasp at what they see.
For me, I am no stranger to either the technological wonders of video games, nor the Oculus. I have experienced many games using the new technology and was excited to see what a visual artist would do with something like that. When you put on the head gear you are transported to a digital forest; Mangrané chose an endangered forest in Brazil. For those who haven't experienced it, it's basically a digital world you can walk around in. Although everyone around me was thrilled and inspired by the experience, I was disappointed. I was so disappointed that I actually became mad. For me the experience was amateur hour in comparison to what game developers have done with the same equipment and technology. 
Artnet claimed, "it's so cool", was proclaimed by almost every "Ritter" ( a term used for those using the Oculus). But for me, Mangrané didn't make art, me made a demo, and not a very good demo. He used the hype of the technology to hide just how mediocre his piece actually was. As a gamer, I have been exposed to not only the impressive and deep worlds created by game developers but also their simple and brilliant demos. If the Oculus Rift company had wanted to have a public viewing of their new technology and expose it to non-gamers maybe they should have chosen a game developer who understands how to use the technology to its fullest. Steegmann Mangrané only touched on the possibilities of the technology.