The combination makes for a compelling if slightly uneven pairing.
LONDON — There’s been quite a buzz around Wael Shawky lately. Since graduating with his MFA in 2001, the Egyptian artist has gone on to rack up an impressive number of accolades. Riding on this surge of enthusiasm, London’s Serpentine Gallery has deemed it time that Shawky receive his first major presentation in the capital, and the resulting exhibition is Wael Shawky: Al-Qurban (‘The Offering’).
“Be African-American. Be very African American.” Thus reads a typed instruction on an otherwise blank piece of paper sent by veteran performance artist William Pope.L to Clifford Owens as part of Anthology, the latter’s crowd-sourced performance project staged last year at MoMA PS1.
How do you get across the meaning of an object that’s separated from everyday life by the glass of a museum vitrine? This question, constantly grappled with by curators of object-based collections, is very much at stake in the Jewish Museum’s current exhibition As it were … So to speak: A Museum Collection in Dialogue with Barbara Bloom.