The Fifth Triennial at the New Museum exhibition opens to New York audiences with attention-grabbing artists working around resistance and perseverance encountered collectively during the height of the pandemic and everyday life afterward.
Beyond the established paradigms, artists and curators in the modern world are reimagining classic art models, materials, and approaches. Take Brazilian artist Gabriela Mureb’s Machine #4: stone (ground) – a staple of the show – a mechanically functional sculpture of an aluminum rod hitting a stone repeatedly inspired by the popular Brazilian proverb, “Soft water on hard stone, hits until it bores a hole” used as the title of the show. The saying goes on to believe that “if one persists long enough, the desired effect can eventually be achieved; and time can destroy even the most perceptibly solid materials.”
“Soft Water Hard Stone”, curated by Margot Norton of the New Museum and Jamillah James of the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, focuses on race, gender, and sexuality; with allusions to colonialism’s forgotten histories and artistic traditions. Opening space for 40 international artists and curators to display the natural world’s regeneration potential, the New Museum’s triennial is a perfect example of why institutions play a vital role in the development of the art world’s creative ecosystem.
The New Museum Triennial exhibition provides a good platform for young artists to define the current discourse of contemporary art and the future of art culture, thanks to its dedication to developing artists worldwide. The exhibition’s sleek aesthetics remind us of humans’ temporality and flexibility. The show’s main ideas and goals are to demonstrate how the traits we share with these inanimate items make us human.
Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho‘s mixed-media artworks with light and audio programming are also on display as part of the exhibition. The team has a collaborative artistic practice that spans the Philippines and beyond, addressing localized iterations of labor and capital via the lens of postcolonial damage.
Their projects frequently require an immersion period of research or living in a location, during which they attempt to uncover specific places of tension that speak to the manipulation of life for profit and progress. We can see how the artworks that arise from this experiential research emphasize the show’s theme through their exhibition.
About The Curators of the New Museum Triennial Exhibition in 2021
The New Museum and Phaidon Press Limited have collaborated on a fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Jamillah James, Margot Norton, Karen Archey, Eunsong Kim, and Bernardo Mosqueira contributed to the catalogue designed by Studio Pacific’s Elizabeth Karp-Evans and Adam Turnbull. It also includes exclusive interviews with each of the exhibition’s forty artists.
The following are eight artists whose exhibitions stand out in the New Museum Triennial exhibition in 2021:
- Gabriela Mureb – Machine #4: stone (ground), 2017
- Iris Touliatou – Untitled (Still Not Over You), 2021.
- Laurie Kang – Great Shuttle, 2020–21
- Sandra Mujinga – Pervasive Light, 2021
- Ambera Wellmann – Strobe, 2021
- Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho – waves move bile, 2020
- Hera Büyüktaşçıyan – Nothing Further Beyond, 2021
- Jeneen Frei Njootli – Fighting for the title to not be pending, 2020.