2015 Triennial: Surround Audience


A signature initiative of the New Museum, the Triennial is the only recurring international exhibition in New York City devoted to early-career artists from around the world.

Cover Image:

Juliana Huxtable, Untitled, 2014 (detail). Photograph, color. Courtesy the artist

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The Triennial’s predictive, rather than retrospective, model embodies the institution’s thirty-seven-year commitment to exploring the future of culture through the art of today. This third iteration of the Triennial is titled “Surround Audience” and is co-curated by New Museum Curator Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin.

“Surround Audience” explores the effects of an increasingly connected world both on our sense of self and identity as well as on art’s form and larger social role. The exhibition looks at our immediate present, a time when culture has become more porous and encompassing and new considerations about art’s role and potential are surfacing. Artists are responding to these evolving conditions in a number of ways, from calculated appropriations to critical interrogations to surreal or poetic statements.

Featuring fifty-one artists from over twenty-five countries, “Surround Audience” pursues numerous lines of inquiry, including: What are the new visual metaphors for the self and subjecthood when our ability to see and be seen is expanding, as is our desire to manage our self-image and privacy? Is it possible to opt out of, bypass, or retool commercial interests that potentially collude with national and international policy? How are artists striving to embed their works in the world around them through incursions into media and activism? A number of artists in the exhibition are poets, and many more use words in ways that connect the current mobility in language with a mutability in form. The exhibition also gives weight to artists whose practices operate outside of the gallery—such as performance and dance—and to those who test the forums of marketing, comedy, and social media as platforms for art. The building-wide exhibition encompasses a variety of artistic practices, including sound, dance, comedy, poetry, installation, sculpture, painting, video, one online talk show, and an ad campaign.

Several works in the exhibition involve recurring performances. All are free with admission.

Luke Willis Thompson’s choreographed pursuit through New York City takes place at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day that the Museum is open to the public (Wednesday–Sunday). The performance requires a MetroCard and lasts approximately one hour, though viewers are not required to stay for the full duration. Museum Visitor Services can direct you to the meeting place where the work begins.

Performances demonstrating the shower functionality of DIS’s The Island (Ken) take place every Saturday through the end of the exhibition—as well as Sunday March 8—at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. Please note: DIS’s The Island (Ken) will not take place on Saturday April 4.

Many of the works in the Triennial have been commissioned specifically for the show. In the two years leading up to the exhibition, the New Museum has hosted research and production residences for both international and local artists: niv Acosta, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Juliana Huxtable, Geumhyung Jeong, Eduardo Navarro, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, and Luke Willis Thompson. Additional new works by Nadim Abbas, Sophia Al-Maria, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Olga Balema, Frank Benson, Sascha Braunig, José León Cerrillo, Onejoon CHE, Tania Pérez Córdova, DIS, Aleksandra Domanović, Casey Jane Ellison, Exterritory, Shadi Habib Allah, Lena Henke, Josh Kline, Eva Koťátková, Oliver Laric, Rachel Lord, Ashland Mines, Avery K. Singer, Martine Syms, and Lisa Tan have also been commissioned or produced for the exhibition.

In addition to works featured in the galleries, the curators selected artists to mobilize sites outside of the Museum, including the means of dispersing information about the exhibition itself. Such projects include the Triennial ad campaign Extended Release (2015), which was conceived and designed by New York artist collective K-HOLE and serves as the group’s contribution to the exhibition. Filmed at the Museum, episodes of Ovation’s “Touching the Art” (2014–15)—a web series by Casey Jane Ellison—focus on themes broached by “Surround Audience” and will temporarily become an artwork in the exhibition.

“Surround Audience” is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue designed by Familiar and copublished by the New Museum and Rizzoli. The catalogue includes full-color, four-page spreads on each of the fifty-one artists and groups as well interviews between the artist collective DIS and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, artist; Andrew Durbin, writer, and Frank Benson and Juliana Huxtable, artists; Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator, and Basim Magdy, artist; and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator, and Aslı Çavuşoğlu, artist. The catalogue also include essays by Cornell and Trecartin; Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement; Brian Droitcour, writer; Alexander Provan, writer and Cofounder, Triple Canopy; and Hito Steyerl, artist.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the New Museum has published a book of poetry, researched and edited by Droitcour. Featuring works by over sixty-nine contributors, including Dodie Bellamy, Mónica de la Torre, Cathy Park Hong, Bhanu Kapil, and Jenny Zhang, with original translations and texts by Triennial artists all interwoven with transcriptions of social-media statuses of many varieties, The Animated Reader: Poetry of Surround Audience offers an expansion of the Triennial’s themes in the medium of poetry.

The New Museum Triennial was initiated in 2009. The first edition, “Younger Than Jesus,” was organized by Massimiliano Gioni, Laura Hoptman, and Lauren Cornell. The second Triennial, “The Ungovernables,” was organized by Eungie Joo in 2012. The 2015 Triennial is organized by Lauren Cornell, Curator, 2015 Triennial, Museum as Hub, and Digital Projects, and artist Ryan Trecartin, with Sara O’Keeffe and Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curators. The catalogue was overseen by Helga Christoffersen.

Nadim Abbas
(b. 1980, Hong Kong, China. Lives and works in Hong Kong, China)
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
(b. 1985, Amman, Jordan. Lives and works in London, UK)
niv Acosta
(b. 1988, New York, NY, US. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, US)
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
(b. 1983, Enugu, Nigeria. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US)
Sophia Al-Maria
(b. 1983, Tacoma, WA, US. Lives and works in Doha, Qatar, and London, UK)
Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili
(b. 1979, Tbilisi, Georgia. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany)
Ed Atkins
(b. 1982, Oxford, UK. Lives and works in London, UK)
Olga Balema
(b. 1984, Lviv, Ukraine. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Berlin, Germany)
Frank Benson
(b. 1976, Norfolk, VA, US. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Sascha Braunig
(b. 1983, Vancouver Island, Canada. Lives and works in Portland, ME, US)
Antoine Catala
(b. 1975, Toulouse, France. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Aslı Çavuşoğlu
(b. 1982, Istanbul, Turkey. Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey)
José León Cerrillo
(b. 1976, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico)
Onejoon CHE
(b. 1979, Seoul, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea)
Tania Pérez Córdova
(b. 1979, Mexico City, Mexico. Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico)
Verena Dengler
(b. 1981, Vienna, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria)
DIS (Founded 2010, New York, NY, US)
Aleksandra Domanović
(b. 1981, Novi Sad, SFR Yugoslavia. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany)
Casey Jane Ellison
(b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA, US. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY, US)
(Founded 2009, the Extraterritorial Waters)
Geumhyung Jeong
(b. 1980, Seoul, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea)
Ane Graff
(b. 1974, Bodø, Norway. Lives and works in Oslo, Norway, and Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Guan Xiao
(b. 1983, Sichuan Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China)
Shadi Habib Allah
(b. 1977, Jerusalem. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Eloise Hawser
(b. 1985, London, UK. Lives and works in London, UK)
Lena Henke
(b. 1982, Warburg, Germany. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Lisa Holzer
(b. 1971, Vienna, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria, and Berlin, Germany)
Juliana Huxtable
(b. 1987, Houston, TX, US. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Renaud Jerez
(b. 1982, Narbonne, France. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany)
(Founded 2010, New York, NY, US)
Shreyas Karle
(b. 1981, Mumbai, India. Lives and works in Mumbai, India)
Kiluanji Kia Henda
(b. 1979, Luanda, Angola. Lives and works in Luanda, Angola, and Lisbon, Portugal)
Josh Kline
(b. 1979, Philadelphia, PA, US. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Eva Koťátková
(b. 1982, Prague, Czech Republic. Lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic)
Donna Kukama
(b. 1981, Mafikeng, South Africa. Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa)
Firenze Lai
(b. 1984, Hong Kong, China. Lives and works in Hong Kong, China)
Oliver Laric
(b. 1981, Innsbruck, Austria. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany)
Li Liao
(b. 1982, Hubei, China. Lives and works in Shenzhen, China)
Rachel Lord
(b. 1986, Washington, DC, US. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US)
Basim Magdy
(b. 1977, Assiut, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo, Egypt, and Basel, Switzerland)
Nicholas Mangan
(b. 1979, Geelong, Australia. Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia)
Ashland Mines
(b. 1982, Pittsburgh, PA, US. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US)
Shelly Nadashi
(b. 1981, Haifa, Israel. Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium)
Eduardo Navarro
(b. 1979, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Steve Roggenbuck
(b. 1987, Harbor Beach, MI, US. Lives and works in Brunswick, ME, US)
Avery K. Singer
(b. 1987, New York, NY, US. Lives and works in New York, NY, US)
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
(b. 1977, Barcelona, Spain. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Martine Syms
(b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA, US. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US)
Lisa Tan
(b. 1973, New York, NY, US. Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden)
Luke Willis Thompson
(b. 1988, Auckland, New Zealand. Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand, and Frankfurt, Germany)
Peter Wächtler
(b. 1979, Hannover, Germany. Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium, and Berlin, Germany)

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Lead Support provided by the “Friends of the 2015 Generational Triennial”

Hank Latner

Shelley Fox Aarons, Lonti Ebers, Ken Kuchin, and Toby Devan Lewis

Friends of the Generational Triennial:
Andrea Rosen Gallery
Lisa and David Barse
Alexandra Bowes and Stephen Williamson
James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach
Lisa Fayne Cohen and James Cohen
Sandra and Leo DelZotto
Marisa and David Droga
The John David and Signy Eaton Foundation
Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg
Charlotte Feng Ford
Andrea Glimcher
Tina Kim and Jae Chung
Ahmet Kocabıyık
Mihail Lari and Scott Murray
Marsy Mittlemann
Catriona and Simon Mordant
Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo
Regen Projects
Lisa Roumell and Mark Rosenthal
Sprüth Magers
Jerome L. and Ellen Stern
Courtney Finch Taylor
Laurie and David Wolfert

“Surround Audience” is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.

Artist commissions are generously supported by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund.

Additional support is provided by Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, the International Leadership Council of the New Museum, and Carol and Arthur Goldberg. The accompanying publications were made possible, in part, by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum. Education and community programs are supported, in part, by the American Chai Trust.

Generous support for artist residencies is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Laurie Wolfert, and an anonymous donor.

Support for artist projects, travel, and research is provided by: Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Aeroméxico, Artis, Asian Cultural Council, Czech Center New York, Iaspis – the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists, Institut Français, Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (SRE/AMEXCID), Office for Contemporary Art Norway: OCA, Ostrovsky Family Foundation, Royal Norwegian Consulate General of New York, SAHA Association, Lisa Schiff, and VIA Art Fund.

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