December 2, 2011

New Museum Announces 2012 Triennial Artists
“The Ungovernables” Opens to the Public February 15, 2012

New York, NY…The New Museum today announced the list of participating artists in the 2012 Triennial, the only recurring exhibition in the United States devoted to presenting young artists from around the globe. Opening to the public on February 15, the Triennial will feature thirty-four artists, artist groups, and temporary collectives, totaling over fifty participants, born between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, many of whom have never before exhibited in the US. This second New Museum Triennial, titled “The Ungovernables,” is curated by Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs. The exhibition will be on view throughout the entire Museum until April 22, 2012. The exhibition’s title sponsor is the Joe Fresh brand, a new-to-New-York fashion line.

“The Ungovernables” is an exhibition about the urgencies of a generation who came of age after the independence and revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Joo conducted primary research for the Triennial in more than twenty countries over the course of eighteen months, visiting hundreds of artists in the process. “In many ways this generation was formed by the instability of a period marked by military dictatorships, the IMF crises of the 1980s and 1990s, the spread of global capitalism and the rise of fundamentalism,” Joo says. “But what I encountered were artists whose practices demonstrate remarkable resiliency, pragmatism, flexibility, and hopefulness.”

Through both materials and form, works included in “The Ungovernables” explore impermanence and an engagement with the present and future. Many of the works are provisional, site-specific, and performative reflecting an attitude of possibility and resourcefulness. In the sculpture of Adrián Villar Rojas, monumentality is juxtaposed with transience. Rendered in clay, the works depend on cracks on their surfaces—the inevitable failure of the object, of meaning, and the guaranteed transformation of all ideas and objects back to dust. But it is dust that is then repurposed, reimagined, and re-formed. When Danh Võ learned that the Statue of Liberty is simply a steel armature covered by a copper skin the thickness of two pennies, he researched the hammering process that gave her shape, then employed craftsmen to replicate the statue’s skin for his work WE THE PEOPLE. Julia Dault manipulates materials of modernity such as Formica and Plexiglas in temporal arrangements that can never be repeated. In her works, the artist’s labor is dependent on the conditions of a certain space, her strength to execute a work at a particular time, and the uncontrollable accidents her materials determine. House of Natural Fiber, a new media collective and alternative space, has recently combined microbiology and art to teach locals about safe ways to brew homemade fruit wine while amplifying and sampling the sounds of the distillation process to make electronic music. Jonathas de Andrade’s Ressaca Tropical (Tropical Hangover) is an installation of over one hundred photographs linked to pages of a romantic diary found in the trash. In isolation, the components of Ressaca are historical documents. However, pieced together, they comprise a larger fiction of what a city is and can be—how the past can remain alive, not through conservation, but instead through the invisible energy of living.

“The Ungovernables” is testimony to the breadth and vitality of cultural production outside of familiar, Western market centers,” says Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director. “The New Museum recognizes that this signals an important paradigm shift for the twenty-first century.”

The exhibition title takes its inspiration from the concept of “ungovernability” and its transformation from a pejorative term used to describe unruly “natives” to a strategy of civil disobedience and self-determination embraced by the African National Congress in South Africa in 1986. “The Ungovernables” is meant to suggest both anarchic and organized resistance and a dark humor about the limitations and potentials of this generation.

Over the past year, the New Museum has initiated a series of residencies and public programs to support the production of new works for the Triennial—an ongoing initiative that has fostered artistic investigation, experimentation, and exchange on both formal and informal levels. Residencies began in February 2011, with Public Movement and Adrián Villar Rojas focusing on research for Triennial projects. This past June and July 2011, the New Museum embarked on a concentrated period of activities with Wu Tsang as well as Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran of CAMP. This November, Public Movement and Wu Tsang continued their residencies with actions and performances in conjunction with Performa 11. On November 4 and 6, Public Movement presented Positions, a choreographed protest in which political and philosophical positions manifest into physical positions. Wu Tsang continued to develop his work Full Body Quotation with a performance on November 19, which will be the foundation of his installation in “The Ungovernables” exhibition.

Building on the Museum as Hub model, preparation for “The Ungovernables” incorporated lengthy consultation with a network of curators, organizations, and artists from around the world, including Museum as Hub partners. Their contributions have most notably inspired the Art Spaces Directory, a resource guide to over 400 independent art spaces around the world, co-published by ArtAsiaPacific magazine and featuring essays by Víctor Albarracín, Reem Fadda and Christine Tohme, Stefan Kalmár, Naiza H. Khan, Catalina Lozano, Elaine W. Ng, and tranzit.org. “The Ungovernables” will also be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue designed by Santiago Piedrafita, Head of Graphic Design, North Carolina State University, and published by Rizzoli. The catalogue will include full color, four-page spreads on each of the thirty-four artists and groups; as well as essays and fiction by several participating artists, writer/curator Miguel A. López, curator Gabi Ngcobo, and Triennial curator, Eungie Joo.

Artists and Collectives in “The Ungovernables”

Mounira Al Solh (b. 1978, Beirut. Lives and works in Beirut and Amsterdam)

Jonathas de Andrade (b. 1982, Maceió, Brazil. Lives and works in Recife)

Minam Apang (b. 1980, Naharlagun, India. Lives and works in Mumbai)

CAMP (Founded 2007, Mumbai)
Shaina Anand (b. 1975, Bombay. Lives and works in Mumbai)
Ashok Sukumaran (b. 1974, Sapporo, Japan. Lives and works in Mumbai)

Julia Dault (b. 1977, Toronto. Lives and works in New York)

Abigail DeVille (b. 1981, New York. Lives and works in New York)

House of Natural Fiber (Founded 1999, Yogyakarta)
Venzha Christ (b. 1973, Banyuwangi, Indonesia. Lives and works in Yogyakarta); Tommy
Suryo (b. 1976, Bojonegoro, Indonesia. Lives and works in Yogyakarta); Irene Agrivina
(b. 1976, Yogyakarta. Lives and works in Yogyakarta)

Hu Xiaoyuan (b. 1977, Haerbin, China. Lives and works in Beijing)

Invisible Borders (Founded 2009, Lagos)
Nike Adesuyi-Ojeikere, Kemi Akin-Nibosun, Lucy Azubuike, Unoma Giese, Emmanuel Iduma, Uche James-Iroha, Ala Khier, Chidinma Nnorom, Chriss Aghana Nwobu, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, Amaize Ojeikere, Emeka Okereke, Charles Okereke, Ray-Daniels Okeugo, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Tom Saater, and Jumoke Sanwo

Iman Issa (b. 1979, Cairo. Lives and works in Cairo and New York)

Hassan Khan (b. 1975, London. Lives and works in Cairo)

Lee Kit (b. 1978, Hong Kong. Lives and works in Hong Kong)

Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1974, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Lives and works in Belo Horizonte)

Dave McKenzie (b. 1977, Kingston, Jamaica. Lives and works in New York)

Nicolás Paris (b. 1977, Bogotá. Lives and works in Bogotá)

Bona Park (b. 1977, Seoul. Lives and works in Seoul)

Gary-Ross Pastrana (b. 1977, Quezon City. Lives and works in Manila)

Pratchaya Phinthong (b. 1974, Ubonratchathani, Thailand. Lives and works in Bangkok)

Amalia Pica (b. 1978, Neuquén Capital, Argentina. Lives and works in London)

Rita Ponce de León (b. 1982, Lima. Lives and works in México City)

The Propeller Group (Founded 2006, Ho Chi Minh City)
Tuan Andrew Nguyen (b. 1976, Sài Gòn. Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City and
Los Angeles); Matthew Lucero (b. 1976, Upland, California. Lives and works in Los
Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City); Phunam Thúc Hà (b. 1974, Sài Gòn. Lives and works
in Ho Chi Minh City)

Public Movement (Founded 2006, Tel Aviv)
Dana Yahalomi (b. 1982, Tel Aviv. Lives and works in Tel Aviv), group leader

Gabriel Sierra (b. 1975, San Juan Nepomuceno, Colombia. Lives and works in Bogotá)

Rayyane Tabet (b. 1983, Ashqout, Lebanon. Lives and works in Beirut and San Diego)

Slavs and Tatars (Founded 2006, Eurasia)

Pilvi Takala (b. 1981, Helsinki. Lives and works in Amsterdam and Istanbul)

Mariana Telleria (b. 1979, Rufino, Argentina. Lives and works in Rosario)

Wu Tsang (b. 1982, Worcester, MA. Lives and works in Los Angeles)

José Antonio Vega Macotela (b. 1980, México City. Lives and works in Amsterdam and México City)

Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980, Rosario, Argentina. Lives and works in Rosario)

Danh Võ (b. 1975, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu, Vietnam. Lives and works in Berlin)

Kemang Wa Lehulere (b. 1984 Cape Town. Lives and works in Johannesburg)

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977 London. Lives and works in London)

Ala Younis (b. 1974 Kuwait City. Lives and works in Amman)

About the Curator
Eungie Joo is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum, where she spearheads the Museum as Hub, a partnership of international arts organizations that supports art activities and experimentation; explores artistic, curatorial, and institutional practice; and serves as an important resource for the public to learn about contemporary art from around the world. As part of the Museum as Hub, Joo commissioned the yearlong Night School project by Anton Vidokle; the “Post Living Anti Action Theater” (PoLAAT) workshop by My Barbarian; and launched the Propositions seminar series—an ongoing public forum that considers contemporary artists’s ideas in progress. At the New Museum she has also presented “Museum as Hub: Six Degrees”; “Nikhil Chopra: Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing IX”; and “Voice and Wind: Haegue Yang.” In 2009, she served as commissioner for the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, presenting the solo exhibition, “Condensation: Haegue Yang.” Joo was previously founding Director and Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles, from 2003 to 2007 where she commissioned new works and presented solo exhibitions by Superflex, Taro Shinoda, Damián Ortega, Andrea Bowers, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kara Walker, Barry McGee, and others. She received the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement in 2006. Joo received her BA in Africana Studies at Vassar College and her doctorate in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

About the New Museum Triennial
The Generational Triennial is a signature initiative of the New Museum. It is the only recurring international exhibition in New York City devoted to emerging artists from around the world, providing an important platform for a new generation of artists who are shaping the current discourse of contemporary art and the future of culture. The first edition in 2009, “The Generational: Younger Than Jesus,” featured fifty artists, from twenty-five countries, born after 1976.

Exhibition and Publication Support
The title sponsor of “The Generational” is the Joe Fresh brand, a new-to-New-York fashion line. The exhibition is made possible by a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte.

Major support is provided by the Friends of “The Generational” co-chaired by Shelley Fox Aarons, Toby Devan Lewis, and Lonti Ebers. Steering Committee Members are: Suzanne Deal Booth; Ellyn and Saul Dennison; Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg; Susan and Leonard Feinstein; María José Garcés; Sunny and Brad Goldberg; Lietta and Dakis Joannou; Tina Kim and Jaewoong Chung; Sueyun Locks; Regen Projects; Lyndley and Samuel Schwab; Eve Steele and Peter Gelles; and Laurie and David Wolfert. Friends of “The Generational” are: Lorenzo Martone; Kathleen O’Grady; and Ana Sokoloff.

Support for the accompanying publications is made possible by the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum, and a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The Art Spaces Directory is co-published with Art Asia Pacific. Curatorial travel and research has been underwritten by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Asian Cultural Council. The official hotel partner for “The Generational” is The Standard Hotel.

Museum as Hub Residency: Artist residencies will be presented through the Museum as Hub initiative, organized in conjunction with the “The Generational.” The Museum as Hub Residency Program is made possible by the lead support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Artist travel is supported, in part, by a grant from the Ford Foundation. Additional generous support for the Residency Program is provided by Laurie Wolfert. Public Movement’s participation in the 2012 Generational is co-presented by the New Museum and Artis—Contemporary Israeli Art Fund. Travel is made possible through the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in NY.

Museum as Hub: The Museum as Hub is made possible by the lead support of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Museum as Hub and public programs are made possible, in part, through the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum. Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David and Hermine Heller.

About the New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum was conceived as a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding, dedicated building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of ongoing experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.

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Gabriel Einsohn, Communications Director
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