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Posted inArt

Feeling Unengaged at Carsten Höller’s New Museum Playground

There has been a fair amount of buzz surrounding Carsten Höller. His “mid-career” retrospective/whole building takeover of the New Museum opened last week. Determined to see for myself, I wandered into the space last Friday with a relatively open mind. My only previous knowledge of the artist was from his installation of slides in the massive turbine hall at the Tate Modern in London a couple of years ago. His installation there was pretty well received. Though I never saw it in person, it is easy to imagine how the installation fits into the Tate’s turbine hall shtick. Like Olafur Eliasson’s sun, or Ai Weiwei’s field of sunflower seeds, Höller’s slides were engaging and dramatic. They served as an anti-pretentious pallet cleanser, a preparatory shot of courage before heading into the art-soaked wilderness of that museum.

Posted inArt

An #OccupyWallStreet Art Exhibition That Reaches Out

The art world has a tendency to make everything about itself, and some of the art happenings at Occupy Wall Street are no different. Contentious art projects that have spawned from the movement like the No Comment exhibition and Occupy Museums have sparked important discussions, but also remain somewhat insular. While its certainly worthy to critique and examine the art world under the lens of Occupy Wall Street, artistic responses to the movement should also aim to educate and entice more people to join the ranks of OWS. NYU Gallatin’s exhibition This is What Democracy Looks Like, which opened last Friday, makes such an attempt to extend a hand outward.

Posted inArt

What Is So Asian About Asian Art Today?

MÉRIDA, MEXICO — Over the past two years planet art has born witness to a drastic metamorphosis. The mental apparition of “Asian Art,” inhabiting its blanket concept, was once as innocuous as Casper the friendly ghost. Westerners were at leisure to muse and amuse themselves with its mysteries and exoticisms, with the fleeting attentions of a visitor into another lord’s cabinet of curiosities.

Today our imaginations and anticipations have fed it to megalithic proportions. And the economic boom of contemporary art in the 21st Century continues to relentlessly close the gap between the world’s cultures of expression, to the point where the bedsheets of West and East have begun to rub up against one another — sometimes roughly. There is even talk of the voracious appetite of the Yellow Peril of Asian Art, positioning its markets and state-ordained “cultural industries” to consume planet art altogether.

Posted inArt

1970s Flashback to the Birth of Alternatives

The current exhibition A Show About Colab and Related Activities at Printed Matter in Chelsea is a perfect example of the positivity that can result from discontent. First known as the Green Corporation and subsequently named Collaborative Projects, Inc. Colab was a loosely organized group of artists that functioned from the late 1970s through the early 1980s, serving as a platform, agency and collective for art making. The current exhibition consists of original artworks and ephemera (including meeting minutes, flyers, posters and publications) that document and sample from the slew of work produced under the organization’s moniker.