The Spring 2017 R&D Season: BODY considers the body politic, exploring the body’s relationship to the law, the environment, activism, performance, and criticism. Operating across various presentational and pedagogical formats, the season is anchored by a residency with A.K. Burns, who premieres “Shabby but Thriving,” an in-process, video-based installation that continues a cycle of works drawing on theater, science fiction, philosophy, and ecological anxieties. Other activities this season include the launch of Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, the most recent entry in the museum’s Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture publication series, and the inaugural New Museum Colloquium, “The Critical Matter of Performance,” which will use an immersive think tank format to explore the relationship of criticism to live art through multiple registers—across time, space, bodies, politics, and institutions.
In the exhibition and residency “Shabby but Thriving,” A.K. Burns premieres a newly commissioned two-channel video staged within an installation that explores the subjugation and agency of various bodies. This exhibition continues a serial project that draws on theater, science fiction, philosophy, and ecological anxieties. The larger cycle of works is organized around five elements: power (the sun), water, land, void, and body.
Body Politic: From Rights to Resistance
Sunday February 5, 11:30 AM–6:30 PM
The Question of Quantum Feminism
Thursday March 9, 7 PM
Listening Party: Poetry and Record Release for Leave No Trace
Thursday April 20, 7 PM
The Department of Education and Public Engagement’s Resource Center is a hybrid exhibition, study, and pedagogical space that provides a generative platform for presenting histories, in-depth research, and broader contexts for artistic and curatorial production. At a moment of political urgency and uncertainty, this particular presentation expands on these functions to take into account the corporeal body. Here, resources attend to how the body processes shock, psychic and physical trauma, grief, and rage in the face of political extremism. Taking cues from the reading room, the gym, the listening station, and the space of respite, this iteration of the Resource Center presents a variety of modes for understanding and utilizing the energies of the burdened body, and for recognizing the complex entanglement of the body’s psychic, corporeal, and political dimensions.
Public Servants in the Future Imperfect
Thursday January 26, 7 PM
Organized by the New Museum and A Blade of Grass, this event celebrates the launch of Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (edited by Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon) and Future Imperfect (edited by Elizabeth M. Grady). The event will feature presentations by and discussions with Ben Davis, Tom Finkelpearl, Rick Lowe, and Laura Raicovich.
New Museum Colloquium: The Critical Matter of Performance
Thursday February 16–Saturday February 18
“The Critical Matter of Performance” is a colloquium and three-day think tank that will convene historians and theorists of performance, dance, and visual art, as well as choreographers, theater artists, visual artists, and performers to explore the relationship of criticism to live art through multiple registers—across time, space, bodies, politics, and institutions. Organized by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Tavia Nyong’o, Johanna Burton, and the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement, the colloquium will feature presentations and discussions with keynote presenters including Rizvana Bradley, Tania Bruguera, Malik Gaines, Jack Halberstam, Jenn Joy, Thomas J. Lax, Simone Leigh, and Wu Tsang, with special guest speaker Robert Longo. This program has been organized as the inaugural New Museum Colloquium, an outgrowth of the New Museum Seminars program that ran from 2013–2016 and provided a weekly platform for postgraduate-level inquiry in a peer-led, seminar-like setting. The new colloquium format seeks to produce a space that can support a similar level of inquiry in a more immersive and concentrated period of time, with public and private sessions operating in close dialogue.
Organized by the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement, R&D (Research and Development) Seasons connect projects across multiple platforms around a new organizing theme each fall, spring, and summer. Seasonal themes are generated by artists-in-residence, and the department’s collaborations with artists lead to exhibitions, performances, conferences, screenings, publications, after-school programs for teens, Family Day activities, and archival research. Anchoring the Museum’s dedication to expanded forms of knowledge and cultural production, each theme is wide-ranging and limber, rather than illustrative; participating artists, scholars, and curators raise topical questions and often test thematic limits.
“A.K. Burns: Shabby But Thriving” is curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator. The Resource Center is organized by A.K. Burns and Alicia Ritson, Research Fellow. “The Critical Matter of Performance” is organized by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Tavia Nyong’o, Johanna Burton, and the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement. “Public Servants in the Future Imperfect” is organized by the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement and A Blade of Grass.