Hannah Sawtell has developed a new installation and sound work realizing a subsequent edition of her 'Broadsheets' publication series. Jeanine Oleson produces an exhibition, several public programs and workshops, a publication, and an experimental opera. 'Talking Back: The Audience in Dialogue' presents a selection of materials culled from the museum's archives that explores various ways in which artworks and projects have engaged the voice of the Museum's audiences.
Hannah Sawtell: ACCUMULATOR
04/23/14 - 06/22/14
For her first museum solo presentation in the United States, Hannah Sawtell has developed a new installation and sound work for the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery.
In her work, Sawtell considers the relationship between the surfaces of images and objects, and the multiplicity of structures that underpin them. Through a variety of media—installation, video, print, radio broadcast, sound, and performance—Sawtell renders the fluidity of digital images with spatial, physical, and temporal qualities, and critically points to their function as decoy indicators for larger and dominating systems of production, access, surplus, and consumption. Additionally alluding to the repetitive nature of contemporary production, Sawtell evokes an aesthetic of industrial design through her installations and objects. Much of her influence comes from her previous work as a DJ and in running Detroit’s Plant E Label, and she often integrates noise, rhythm, and beat as part of her video works and performances.
In “Vendor” (2012), a recent work exhibited at Bloomberg SPACE (part of a two-site show also at the ICA, London), Sawtell created an installation from online images that she repeatedly encountered during her residency at Bloomberg News Agency in London. Cutting the images with live screen-based digital tools and using close-up textures, Sawtell created a space that unpacks and reveals the contemporary virtual and digital image. Frequently collaborating with local manufacturers to produce her works, another recent piece, Re-Petitioner (2013), included a set of bespoke speakers that transformed the large screen in front of them into an acoustic mirror. Exposed to an intense experience of noise, audiences also witnessed computer-generated images of the brutalist Norwegian Y-Block building in Oslo and a landscape of what she considers “pre-fossilized CGI objects” projected onto the large screen.
For the New Museum, Sawtell will create a new sculptural installation and sound work made specifically for the Lobby Gallery, and realize a subsequent edition of her “Broadsheets” publication series.
“Hannah Sawtell: ACCUMULATOR” is on view at the New Museum from April 23–June 22, 2014, and is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator.
Hannah Sawtell was born in London in 1971, where she also lives and works. Recent solo shows include Vilma Gold, London, Clocktower Gallery, New York, and two linked exhibitions at the ICA, London, and ICA at Bloomberg SPACE, London, for which she published Broadsheets 1-3, a publication distributed with Business Week magazine, and realized Sonic Lumps, a performance in collaboration with Factory Floor. Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as “SoundSpill,” Zabludowicz Collection, New York (2013), “With the Tip of a Hat,” the Artist’s Institute, New York (2012), “Novel,” a screening for Time Again hosted by the Sculpture Center, New York (2011), “Outrageous Fortune: artists remake the Tarot,” Hayward Touring/Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2011), and “The Great White Way Goes Black,” Vilma Gold, London (2011). She is included in “Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008–2013” at Tate Britain and will have solo exhibitions at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, and Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, in 2014. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Jarman Award.
Jeanine Oleson: Hear, Here
04/23/14 - 07/06/14
In April 2014, the New Museum will host the first museum presentation of work by Jeanine Oleson, who will produce an exhibition, several public programs and workshops, a publication, and an experimental opera over the course of a four-month residency during the Museum’s 2014 spring R&D Season: VOICE.
Jeanine Oleson is an artist whose practice incorporates interdisciplinary uses of photography, performance, film/video, and installation work. Challenging political and social norms through works that bear a distinctive mix of pathos and wit, Oleson engages contemporary societal topics. These include the collective psyche of apocalyptic anxiety, the global ecological crisis, the persistence of spiritual rituals, and alternative methods of addressing the myriad inequities produced by homophobia, racism, and classism.
During her intensive residency at the New Museum, she will develop a group of interrelated new works, constituting an exhibition, public programs, workshops, a publication, and an experimental opera. An exploration of different kinds of voices—from the musical voice of opera to political acts of speech—Oleson’s project both investigates language and points beyond it. Looking for alternative models, “Hear, Here” asks questions such as: How can we attune ourselves to each other? Where is the agency in language? What does it really mean to listen? The foundation for these queries resides within art itself—particularly in relation to issues of audience and embodied engagement, in addition to objects and conditions that alter modes of expression—in order to respond to larger political and cultural problems faced on a global level.
In this context, during the run of the show, Oleson is developing a video installation for the Museum’s Fifth Floor gallery that investigates conditions of spectatorship. The set and objects for an experimental opera (to be staged in the New Museum’s Theater, June 13–14) will be present during the run of the exhibition, forming an impromptu stage set or catalyst for a series of informal programs in the gallery space leading up to the final performance. Accompanying the exhibition is an archival and research-based presentation by Oleson in the Resource Center that takes up questions around various registers of Voice.
Centering on a paradoxical landscape—a mountain that is also a cave—the exhibition and its constantly shifting elements (including musical instruments, staging tools, and performance artifacts) produce a reactive space that focuses on the politics of vocalizing perspectives and the necessity of participation in lived experience. All the while, the affective role of voice in Oleson’s work mobilizes a mix of humor, rancor, and joy in addressing an avalanche of pressing issues in contemporary life.
“Jeanine Oleson: Hear, Here” is on view at the New Museum from April 23 to July 6, 2014, and is curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement.
Jeanine Oleson was born in Astoria, OR, in 1974. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Oleson has exhibited and performed at venues including: Exit Art, NY; Beta Local, San Juan, Puerto Rico; X-Initiative, NY; Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO; Socrates Sculpture Park, NY; Diverseworks, Houston, TX; L.A.C.E., Los Angeles; Monya Rowe Gallery, NY; Samson Projects, Boston, MA; Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL; John Connelly Presents, NY; Bates College Museum of Art, ME; H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Museum of Art, MO; Participant, Inc., NY; MoMA P.S.1, NY; Santa Fe Art Institute, NM; Pumphouse Gallery, London; White Columns, NY; and Art in General, NY. Oleson has received a Franklin Furnace Fellowship and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant in 2009; a Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Regrant (2008 and 2009); and a Professional Development Fellowship, College Art Association (1999–2000); and was in residence at Smack Mellon Studio Program, NY. She also published two books about performance projects in 2012, “What?” and “The Greater New York Smudge Cleanse.” Oleson is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Department of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Talking Back: The Audience in Dialogue
04/23/14 - 07/06/14
“Talking Back: The Audience in Dialogue” presents a selection of materials culled from the New Museum’s archives that explores various ways in which artworks and projects have engaged the voice of the Museum’s audiences.
"Talking Back: The Audience in Dialogue” presents a selection of materials culled from the New Museum’s archives that explores various ways in which artworks and projects have engaged the voice of the Museum’s audiences. Since the birth of the modern museum in the eighteenth century, all kinds of interpretative forms have been utilized to incite connections between viewer and artwork. Public programs, wall texts, object labels, extensive catalogues, audio guides, and other interactive tools often focus on guiding audiences through their engagement with particular artworks or entire artistic careers. Examining valences of “voice” within the Museum, this exhibition explores ventures that foreground the value of the viewer’s interpretation. The artworks and projects presented here ask: How has the museum adapted in response to the voice of its audience, fulfilling more overtly its function as a public institution? How has the voice of the audience been imagined or solicited by artists and museum staff? And how do the different—even conflicting—voices in and around institutions come together in discussion and debate to consider the concerns, desires, and values of democratic life? In some cases, such inquiries generate the very ground for artworks themselves, whereby the audience is not simply an interlocutor for the work, but a co-producer of it.
Works include Laurie Parsons’s “Security and Admissions Project” (1992–93), in which all explanatory labels and text were removed from “The Spatial Drive,” an exhibition curated by Laura Trippi in 1992. Instead, information regarding the artworks on display was provided by the Museum’s security guards and other staff, in discussion with the audience. Other projects include a “Resource Room” organized by artist, theorist, and educator Julie Ault and Susan Cahan, then Education Curator, in conjunction with the larger exhibition “Rhetorical Image” (1990–91), and “To live and die in a museum” (1991), which asked viewers to directly respond to the themes of death and dying explored in the exhibition “The Interrupted Life.”
Notably, these different projects were all conceived in collaboration with the Museum’s Department of Education, and each was constructed as a framing distinct from the exhibitions alongside which they were developed. By envisioning the art museum as a site of public assembly, discussion, and critical discourse—and its audiences as active participants in culture at large—these projects promoted dialogues with visitors, as well as among the Museum’s staff at every level, conferring a sense of meaning-making through voice and highlighting the open-ended nature of interpretation.
This archival presentation comes out of research that takes up questions around various registers of voice, providing an institution-specific context related to Jeanine Oleson’s exhibition “Hear, Here.” As Oleson reminds us through her work, “Culture is nothing without an audience that creates and archives with their attention and care.”
“Talking Back: The Audience in Dialogue” is organized by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, and Tara Hart, Digital Archivist.
This presentation is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.
Image: Jeanine Oleson, Untitled, 2014. Intaglio print, 12 × 7 ¼ in (30.5 × 18.5 cm). Printed by Marina Ancona, 10 Grand Press. Courtesy the artist
Gabriel Einsohn, Senior Communications Director
Hyatt Mannix, External Affairs Associate
Andrea Schwan, Andrea Schwan Inc.
235 Bowery, New York
Opening hours: Wednesday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.. Friday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Admission: General $16, Seniors $14, Students $10