The 2018 New Museum Triennial “Songs for Sabotage” connects images with social structures in works by African, Brazilian, Filipino, Haitian, Mexican, Peruvian, and Spanish artists.
Songs for Sabotage
Good art has a way of timing its birth. The collective unconscious shows up just when we need it.
The 2018 New Museum Triennial is a postmodern fiesta that brings together young artists from around the globe whose work makes us think about what’s going wrong in society, and what we might do about it.
At this moment in history, the social structures that once bound us together are being torn apart for political gains and the personal profit of a very, very small portion of society.
Countries used to put a lot of effort into forging a common national identity. Culture is one of the main tools for nation building. Examples include Mariachi in Mexico and Samba in Brazil. These regional cultural expressions were promoted nationally to help build a common national Mexican or Brazilian identity.
Recent political trends are running against the current of history by trying to reinforce the dominance of a select few over the many. The failure of social media has turned reasonable discourse into an unending bitch-storm.
When these trends are left to reach their conclusion, you end up with failed states like Syria and Venezuela. Many of us thought it could never happen in the United States, but lately we are beginning to wonder and worry.
Maybe its the same as it ever was (the people of the land struggling against the people of the big house), but it sure is frustrating to watch because in 2018, we should know better. Hopefully, this is the last desperate gasp of the old guard.
The solutions aren’t coming from the old folks in power. Unfortunately, it has to be said, the solutions aren’t coming from the old white folks in power. They just don’t represent who we are any more, and are completely invested in keeping everyone who isn’t a family member or doesn’t look exactly like them, from participating in the American dream.
But what should we do? We can’t just get mad and fall into the childish name-calling trap that has brought American government to a complete halt. That’s part of the game anyway. Whoever gets emotional, pays the bill, and while you’re distracted, I’m picking your pockets clean.
The solutions have to come from the younger generation. The solutions will have to come from people of all colors and nations, from internationals. That’s especially true because many internationals have a better understanding of the true cost of inequality, environmental degradation, and the breakdown of society.
Artists are always ahead of the politicians because we are more open to the collective unconscious that unites all humans and even all living things.
That’s why we should have a look at the 2018 New Museum Triennial. You just might see a spark there that ends up changing the world.
Latin Artists in the 2018 New Museum Triennnial
We include the Africans in the exhibition because Latin is a mix of Native American + European + African. It’s time to fully embrace who we are.
Cian Dayrit was born in Manila, Philippines in 1989. He lives and works in Rizal, Philippines.
Tomm El-Saieh was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1984. He lives and works in Miami, Florida.
Haroon Gunn-Salie was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1989. He lives and works between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Claudia Martínez Garay
Claudia Martínez Garay was born in Ayacucho, Peru in 1983. She lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Inhabitants was founded in New York City in 2015 by Pedro Neves Marques and Mariana Silva. Margarida Mendes contributed to their work. All of the artists are Portuguese-born.
Chemu Ng’ok was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1989. She lives and works in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude
(b. 1988, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1988 where he still lives and works.
Daniela Ortiz was born in Cusco, Peru, the old Inca capital in 1985. She lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.
Lydia Ourahmane was born in Saïda, Algeria in 1992. She lives and works between Oran, Algeria, and London, UK.
(b. 1982, Dalton Paula was born in Brasília, Brazil in 1982. He lives and works in Goiânia, Brazil.
Manuel Solano was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1987. He still lives and works there.
Visit the 2018 New Museum Triennnial
The 2018 New Museum Triennial is at the New Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Tuesday – Sunday, from February 13 – March 27, 2018.
For more information, visit www.newmuseum.org