NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
Feeling nostalgic lately? The New Museum presents NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, a retrospective look at the New York art scene. The exhibition is meant to be, “a time capsule, an experiment in collective memory that attempts to capture a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture, and politics.” The show, featuring Félix González-Torres, Matthew Barney and Rirkrit Tiravanija among many others, recreates the artistic landscape of that year, highlighting artwork made and exhibited in New York City two decades ago.
1993 was a year rife with emotion and conflict, the World Trade Center bombing, attempts at peace in the Middle East and debates over divisive social issues commanding the attention of the national conscience. The show pulls its name from the now 20-year old Sonic Youth album that was recorded in that same year, marking a strange juncture between the underground and mainstream, a sentiment that was echoed throughout the art scene of that era. NYC 1993 attempts to understand that intersection of art and the world at large, dissecting the landscape upon which these forces collide, shaping both the way in which art is conceived and created and the lens through which it is viewed.
Nari Ward’s piece Amazing Grace will be featured at the New Museum’s 231 space at 201 Chrystie Street in conjunction with the larger exhibition. First held in an abandoned Harlem Fire Station in 1993, Ward’s installation displays more than 300 baby strollers collected on the Harlem streets. The piece is accompanied by a looped recording of “Amazing Grace” by Mahalia Jackson, offering a social commentary on the extreme changes that were sweeping the neighborhood at the time.
The New Museum was founded in 1977 as New York City’s first museum devoted to contemporary art since before the Second World War. Its mission was to present the work of living artists, an objective that did not readily fit into the traditional museum structure. The museum’s exhibitions would try to create a dialogue between the artist and public, exploring the important social and political issues of the day.
NYC 1993 features over 75 artists and spans all five floors of the New Museum. The show is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Jenny Moore, and Margot Norton and runs from February 13 through May 26.