New Museum

Sep 20

Using a variety of costumes and lighting settings, Van Leo anticipated later postmodern photography, and his pieces are recognized today as a singular body of work made during the early 1940s. Drawing freely on references from film and theater, and re-enacting real or inventing fictional characters, Van Leo’s self-portraits are a strong testament to his inventiveness and deep desire to create and express his own identity. Their range and impressions testify to a great artistic sensitivity, from the very staged and in costume, to the classic portrait, to a play between the masculine and feminine.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.
Image: Courtesy Rare Books and Special Collections Library, The American University in Cairo

Using a variety of costumes and lighting settings, Van Leo anticipated later postmodern photography, and his pieces are recognized today as a singular body of work made during the early 1940s. Drawing freely on references from film and theater, and re-enacting real or inventing fictional characters, Van Leo’s self-portraits are a strong testament to his inventiveness and deep desire to create and express his own identity. Their range and impressions testify to a great artistic sensitivity, from the very staged and in costume, to the classic portrait, to a play between the masculine and feminine.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.

Image: Courtesy Rare Books and Special Collections Library, The American University in Cairo

Sep 19

Basma Alsharif's video work, We Began By Measuring Distance (2009), opens with images of vacant skies and the cries of a young girl who witnessed an attack that killed her family on a Gaza beach in 2006. Through the film’s narrator, we then learn of an anonymous group that devises a game of measuring distances. Initially, they measure shapes and degrees, or the metric equivalents of imperial lengths. But these arbitrary and innocent dimensions soon begin to take on political significance as geography is considered. The distance from Jerusalem to Gaza is measured repeatedly, but the results vary and conclude in several numbers that index key border-shifting dates in the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, further reinforcing a sense of disenchantment with the usefulness of measurements and measures. Ending with underwater aquarium scenes, footage of Gaza airstrikes in 2008, and a moody waltz by legendary Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez caught in a loop, the narrator concludes, “We began to have the distinct feeling that we had been lied to…and that our measurements had left us empty-handed.”
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28. 

Basma Alsharif's video work, We Began By Measuring Distance (2009), opens with images of vacant skies and the cries of a young girl who witnessed an attack that killed her family on a Gaza beach in 2006. Through the film’s narrator, we then learn of an anonymous group that devises a game of measuring distances. Initially, they measure shapes and degrees, or the metric equivalents of imperial lengths. But these arbitrary and innocent dimensions soon begin to take on political significance as geography is considered. The distance from Jerusalem to Gaza is measured repeatedly, but the results vary and conclude in several numbers that index key border-shifting dates in the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, further reinforcing a sense of disenchantment with the usefulness of measurements and measures. Ending with underwater aquarium scenes, footage of Gaza airstrikes in 2008, and a moody waltz by legendary Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez caught in a loop, the narrator concludes, “We began to have the distinct feeling that we had been lied to…and that our measurements had left us empty-handed.”

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28. 

Sep 18

Rokni Haerizadeh isolates still and moving images from news media and transforms them with expressive painterly gestures into scenes of grotesque fantasy and ribald humor. “Fictionville” (2009–ongoing), Haerizadeh’s recent series of videos and works on paper, borrows its title from the influential 1968 play City of Tales by the Iranian writer Bijan Mofid, which used the structure of folktales to offer strident political and social commentary. Haerizadeh couches his own critique of power in the form of nightmarish fairy tales. To create each of his works, the artist prints thousands of sequential stills from YouTube videos of media broadcasts. He then proceeds to paint on each printout, animating the landscapes and morphing the soldiers and policemen, protesters and bystanders, politicians and celebrities, and even the news broadcasters narrating the events into half-human, half-animal hybrids.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28. 

Rokni Haerizadeh isolates still and moving images from news media and transforms them with expressive painterly gestures into scenes of grotesque fantasy and ribald humor. “Fictionville” (2009–ongoing), Haerizadeh’s recent series of videos and works on paper, borrows its title from the influential 1968 play City of Tales by the Iranian writer Bijan Mofid, which used the structure of folktales to offer strident political and social commentary. Haerizadeh couches his own critique of power in the form of nightmarish fairy tales. To create each of his works, the artist prints thousands of sequential stills from YouTube videos of media broadcasts. He then proceeds to paint on each printout, animating the landscapes and morphing the soldiers and policemen, protesters and bystanders, politicians and celebrities, and even the news broadcasters narrating the events into half-human, half-animal hybrids.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28. 

Sep 17

Claudia Hart has created an augmented reality installation in the New Museum Store window of a full tea service set which contains embedded content from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” revealed through two different apps. Check it out as you walk by the New Mu, and take a look at Hart’s products in the New Museum Store. 
Special thanks to Samsung for providing Galaxy Tab® S tablets on view in this installation.

Claudia Hart has created an augmented reality installation in the New Museum Store window of a full tea service set which contains embedded content from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” revealed through two different apps. Check it out as you walk by the New Mu, and take a look at Hart’s products in the New Museum Store. 

Special thanks to Samsung for providing Galaxy Tab® S tablets on view in this installation.

Sep 16

[video]

Sep 12

Hashem El Madani’s photographs document the residents of the southern Lebanese city of Saïda, where he has lived and worked for over sixty years. El Madani’s collection of over one million images charts the function of the studio portrait as an item of intrinsic value as well as a telling record of social identity and status.
In El Madani’s studio, individuals could portray themselves the way they wished to be seen, assuming various identities, showing off, posing with accessories and props, or acting out characters. The photographer’s collection was recently unearthed by the Arab Image Foundation, which was founded in 1997 by artists Fouad Elkoury, Samer Mohdad, and Akram Zaatari with the goal of preserving and researching photographic collections in the Arab world. Zaatari went on to create the Madani Project, a series of exhibitions, publications, and videos focusing on El Madani’s career. The project examines the ways in which his archive creates a shifting collective portrait of his community, illuminating social, political, and economic aspects of Lebanese society in the flux of time.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.
Images: Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg

Hashem El Madani’s photographs document the residents of the southern Lebanese city of Saïda, where he has lived and worked for over sixty years. El Madani’s collection of over one million images charts the function of the studio portrait as an item of intrinsic value as well as a telling record of social identity and status.

In El Madani’s studio, individuals could portray themselves the way they wished to be seen, assuming various identities, showing off, posing with accessories and props, or acting out characters. The photographer’s collection was recently unearthed by the Arab Image Foundation, which was founded in 1997 by artists Fouad Elkoury, Samer Mohdad, and Akram Zaatari with the goal of preserving and researching photographic collections in the Arab world. Zaatari went on to create the Madani Project, a series of exhibitions, publications, and videos focusing on El Madani’s career. The project examines the ways in which his archive creates a shifting collective portrait of his community, illuminating social, political, and economic aspects of Lebanese society in the flux of time.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.

Images: Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg

Sep 11

#TBT: Thirteen years ago, we presented “Paul McCarthy” (February 22—May 13 2001) an exhibition which examined the artist’s groundbreaking fusion of sculpture with performance.  Dan Cameron, the Museum’s Senior Curator at the time, explains how McCarthy’s “characters and settings are a universal repository of the fears, obsessions, and conflicts that face the human species at an evolutionary crossroads.” The exhibition featured a video and installation he collaborated on with Mike Kelley called Heidi: Midlife Crisis Trauma Center and Negative Media-Engram Abreaction Release Zone.
Learn more about “Paul McCarthy” on our Digital Archive.

#TBT: Thirteen years ago, we presented Paul McCarthy (February 22—May 13 2001) an exhibition which examined the artist’s groundbreaking fusion of sculpture with performance.  Dan Cameron, the Museum’s Senior Curator at the time, explains how McCarthy’s “characters and settings are a universal repository of the fears, obsessions, and conflicts that face the human species at an evolutionary crossroads.” The exhibition featured a video and installation he collaborated on with Mike Kelley called Heidi: Midlife Crisis Trauma Center and Negative Media-Engram Abreaction Release Zone.

Learn more about “Paul McCarthy” on our Digital Archive.

[video]

Sep 10

For over fifty years, the painter Marwan Kassab-Bachi (known to many simply as “Marwan”) has been preoccupied with representing human beings and their expressions of inner emotion and desire. Marwan was born in Damascus and in 1957, left Syria for West Berlin, where he still lives today. In Berlin, Marwan studied painting with artist Hann Trier and became close friends with fellow students Georg Baselitz and Eugen Schönebeck. His early works from this period share the expressive figurative style of his fellow West German contemporaries, but for Marwan, his works also illustrate his own interest in the traditions of Sufism, a branch of Islam known for its mystical approach to faith. Marwan conceives of these paintings as ruminations on the inner self, reflecting Sufism’s focus on attaining “wisdom of the heart,” a fundamental tenet of the practice.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.
Don’t miss a symposium presented in conjunction with the exhibition on September 27 titled “Curating the Region: Reflections from Here and Elsewhere.”

For over fifty years, the painter Marwan Kassab-Bachi (known to many simply as “Marwan”) has been preoccupied with representing human beings and their expressions of inner emotion and desire. Marwan was born in Damascus and in 1957, left Syria for West Berlin, where he still lives today. In Berlin, Marwan studied painting with artist Hann Trier and became close friends with fellow students Georg Baselitz and Eugen Schönebeck. His early works from this period share the expressive figurative style of his fellow West German contemporaries, but for Marwan, his works also illustrate his own interest in the traditions of Sufism, a branch of Islam known for its mystical approach to faith. Marwan conceives of these paintings as ruminations on the inner self, reflecting Sufism’s focus on attaining “wisdom of the heart,” a fundamental tenet of the practice.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.

Don’t miss a symposium presented in conjunction with the exhibition on September 27 titled “Curating the Region: Reflections from Here and Elsewhere.”

Sep 09

Dance for the camera!
Starting tomorrow, “AUNTSforcamera" will unfold publicly during the open studio production week, shared simultaneously by all participating artists and resulting in several new dance-for-camera works that will be exhibited as an immersive moving image installation at Trouw, and later, at the New Museum. 
Open studios will take place during public hours from September 10 to September 14 in the New Museum Theater.
Learn more here.

Dance for the camera!

Starting tomorrow, “AUNTSforcamera" will unfold publicly during the open studio production week, shared simultaneously by all participating artists and resulting in several new dance-for-camera works that will be exhibited as an immersive moving image installation at Trouw, and later, at the New Museum. 

Open studios will take place during public hours from September 10 to September 14 in the New Museum Theater.

Learn more here.

Sep 08

[video]

Sep 05

Emily Zimmerman contributes to our collective glossary-building with an entry on TRUST, the third of eight successive posts on terms associated with social practice, initiated via an open call, for “Whose Terms?”
Here is an excerpt from Zimmerman’s post:
"Trust is inherently related to risk and power. Trust within socially engaged and participatory works is multilayered, relating not only to an encounter between people but also to the larger institutional and societal conditions in which the participant is received."
Click here to read the full post.

Emily Zimmerman contributes to our collective glossary-building with an entry on TRUST, the third of eight successive posts on terms associated with social practice, initiated via an open call, for “Whose Terms?”

Here is an excerpt from Zimmerman’s post:

"Trust is inherently related to risk and power. Trust within socially engaged and participatory works is multilayered, relating not only to an encounter between people but also to the larger institutional and societal conditions in which the participant is received."

Click here to read the full post.

Over the last several years, Kader Attia has focused on the concept of repair as a way of understanding history and generating sculptural forms. His installation for “Here and Elsewhere" pairs two objects that are further linked through processes of restoration: a wooden board and a Carrara marble bust. Similar to one owned by his father, the board is a found object common in North Africa used to teach writing to children as well as Arabic to Berbers. The bust depicts a wounded French soldier from World War I whose face was surgically repaired by Hippolyte Morestin (1869–1919), a French surgeon and pioneer in modern cosmetic surgery. These two objects reveal the differences as well as the overlaps between technological innovation and craft, modernity and tradition, and between ideal forms and improvised reconstructions. Attia’s larger project on repair exposes the mechanisms of assimilation, syncretism, and colonialism that reverberate into the present.
Photo: Benoit Pailley

Over the last several years, Kader Attia has focused on the concept of repair as a way of understanding history and generating sculptural forms. His installation for “Here and Elsewhere" pairs two objects that are further linked through processes of restoration: a wooden board and a Carrara marble bust. Similar to one owned by his father, the board is a found object common in North Africa used to teach writing to children as well as Arabic to Berbers. The bust depicts a wounded French soldier from World War I whose face was surgically repaired by Hippolyte Morestin (1869–1919), a French surgeon and pioneer in modern cosmetic surgery. These two objects reveal the differences as well as the overlaps between technological innovation and craft, modernity and tradition, and between ideal forms and improvised reconstructions. Attia’s larger project on repair exposes the mechanisms of assimilation, syncretism, and colonialism that reverberate into the present.

Photo: Benoit Pailley

Sep 04

[video]

Sep 03

Fakhri El Ghezal’s series “Weld Mén” translates loosely to “son of whom,” a Tunisian Arabic phrase commonly used by elders when asking a younger person who they are. As an approach to self-portraiture through existing pictures, El Ghezal traces his own identity through images and details of his family members’ houses: in a bare niche, his great-grandparents’ portraits sit among an array of medications; on sparse walls, calligraphic dedications laud the prophet Muhammad; on an attic floor, framed photos of the artist as a boy lay shattered.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.

Fakhri El Ghezal’s series “Weld Mén” translates loosely to “son of whom,” a Tunisian Arabic phrase commonly used by elders when asking a younger person who they are. As an approach to self-portraiture through existing pictures, El Ghezal traces his own identity through images and details of his family members’ houses: in a bare niche, his great-grandparents’ portraits sit among an array of medications; on sparse walls, calligraphic dedications laud the prophet Muhammad; on an attic floor, framed photos of the artist as a boy lay shattered.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.