The Meaning in Mapping: Bouchra Khalili’s Border-Crossing Video Art at the New Museum

New Museum_2014_07_Here and Elsewhere_Benoit Pailley_2777

In the middle of a lofty gallery in the New Museum, four movie screens floated, suspended from the ceiling by wires. Projected onto one of them was a map of the Eastern Hemisphere. A hand clenching a black marker hovered, drawing a pattern of mysterious lines from Russia to Bangladesh to Africa. The hand pointed to Macedonia and, in a resigned drawl, a man began to speak in Italian. Subtitles flashed on the screen: “I was in prison there for 8 months and 20 days. Something like that.” Read More


In Search of New Time: David Horvitz at the New Museum

David Horvitz

Last Saturday afternoon at precisely 12:57 p.m., 20 people exited the New Museum toting bronze bells the size of pill bottles and scattered out along the Bowery, ringing them as they passed pedestrians. I was among them, and wandered down to Delancey Street. Only a few people turned to look. Though it resembled some sort of a religious ritual (there Read More

On View

‘Ragnar Kjartansson: Me, My Mother, My Father, and I’ at the New Museum

Exhibition view. (Photo Benoit Pailley/New Museum)

If irony is the antithesis of sincerity, Ragnar Kjartansson might represent their synthesis. A black-and-white photo of the artist at the age of 14, taken on the occasion of his confirmation, hangs alone on the wall that meets a visitor emerging from the New Museum’s elevators into Mr. Kjartansson’s current exhibition there, “Me, My Mother, My Father, and I.” Over and around this wall, 10 voices arranged in multipart polyphony by Kjartan Sveinsson (formerly of the Icelandic pop band Sigur Rós) come singing, while in the photo, young Master Kjartansson, sitting between his father and mother, thoughtfully waits it out with eyebrows raised and eyes downcast. The parents, Kjartan Ragnarsson and Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, were costars in Iceland’s first feature film, Morðsaga (Murder Story, 1977), and Mr. Kjartansson—or so he was told, or so he tells us he was told—was conceived during shooting in May 1975. Read More


Across the Universe: Camille Henrot Brings Creation Stories, Ikebana Sculptures to the New Museum

Henrot. (Photo by Joakim Bouaziz)

While the New Museum’s associate director, Massimiliano Gioni, was planning his 2013 Venice Biennale exhibition, “The Encyclopedic Palace,” he met up with the artist Camille Henrot, who at the time was doing a residency at Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian. “She told me about this project she was doing, about the myths of origins and the desire to try and describe the world and the universe,” he said. “That completely collided with what I was doing. It was a funny moment, because I felt there was somebody else who was as crazy, who had embarked on a similar project as what I was embarking on with Venice.” Read More


Weapons of Choice: Chris Burden Talks Porsches, Cannons, Sailboats and Meteorites

'The Big Wheel,' 1979. (Courtesy the New Museum)

One day the artist Chris Burden was poking around eBay, looking at meteorites. “I was buying little ones and stuff, and all of a sudden I see this one, the biggest meteorite I had ever seen for sale,” he told me earlier this month at the New Museum, the day after a retrospective of more than 40 years of his art opened there. “And there was free shipping, you know?” He paused. “What, a 400-pound meteorite? Free shipping? I’ve never seen one that big. So I bought the meteorite with no idea what I was going to do with it whatsoever, and then I started thinking.” Read More

On View

Llyn Foulkes at the New Museum

'Portrait of Leo Gorcey,' 1969. (Photo by Sheldan C. Collins/New Museum)

These days, with newspaper headlines that alternate between gun violence and Disney pop stars, we seem to be living in Llyn Foulkes’s America. The still-somewhat-obscure 78-year-old artist, whose retrospective is now at the New Museum, came of age in Washington State in the late 1940s and early 1950s—juvenilia show him drawing Mad-magazine-inspired caricatures of the square types in his small town—but he is strongly identified with Los Angeles, where he has lived for most of his life. Drafted into the army, he lived briefly in Germany before settling in L.A., where he studied art at Chouinard and became part of the burgeoning scene around the famed Ferus gallery. The nearly 100 works in this exhibition, curated by Ali Subotnick of L.A.’s Hammer Museum, form a compelling portrait of that endangered, quintessential American character—the eccentric outsider, critical of the system and hell-bent on doing things his own quirky way. Read More