The Ungovernables in NYC

Posted on March 10, 2012


Artist: Mariana Tellería (Photo by AnneLise Sorensen)

The Ungovernables in NYC
by AnneLise Sorensen

The Bowery used to be one of the more rebellious addresses in NYC. At the New Museum, it still is.

In the 1970s, the Bowery was home to the punk club CBGB, plus more than a few brothels. These days, it’s Whole Foods, with its arugula salad bar and gluten-free granola.

Yes, gentrification is transforming the area. But while the New Museum is certainly a part of this gleaming renaissance, its rule-breaking shows have more in common with the Bowery’s countercultural past.

The new exhibit “The Ungovernables” features more than 30 artists, from Helsinki to Hong Kong, many of whom have never exhibited before in the U.S.––and all born between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s.

As the curators explain, ‘“The Ungovernables” is an exhibition about the urgencies of a generation who came of age after the independence and revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Through both materials and form, the works…explore impermanence and an engagement with the present and future.”

Engagement with the present includes casting ordinary objects in a new light – like this basketball wrapped gently in branches by Argentine artist Mariana Tellería. It’s a piece of art that’s at once bewildering and beautiful – oddly beautiful – lingering in the mind long after you’ve turned away.

Other highlights include a replica of the Statue of Liberty’s “skin” in Danh Võ’s “We the People.” And a new media collective, House of Natural Fiber from Indonesia, combines “microbiology and art to teach locals about safe ways to brew homemade fruit wine while amplifying and sampling the sounds of the distillation process to make electronic music.” Hey, the “urgencies of a generation” are expressed in many different ways.

In the end, this is more than a show about ungovernables – it’s also a show about the uncaged, the undeterred, the unapologetic, the unclassifiable and, probably most important, the unstoppable.

“The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial,” 235 Bowery,

My article originally appeared on MSN (Microsoft Network) Postbox.

Artist: Mariana Tellería (Photo by AnneLise Sorensen)

Art in “The Ungovernables” at New Museum in NYC (Photo by AnneLise Sorensen)