New York, NY…This spring, the New Museum presents “The Great Ephemeral” is an exhibition co-curated with Taipei Contemporary Art Center that responds to the speculative nature of the global market, both by exploring its intangible, even emotional, aspects and by offering clear-eyed commentary on its inequalities. This exhibition is part of a season of research and programming organized by the New Museum’s Education Department that examines aspects of speculation, including its volatile relationship to faith as well as alternative economies focused on caregiving and collective labor.
The exhibition is on view from May 27–September 6, 2015 on the Fifth Floor of the New Museum. “The Great Ephemeral” is co-curated in collaboration with Meiya Cheng of Taipei Contemporary Art Center (TCAC), a platform dedicated to artists, curators, scholars, and cultural activists, and the New Museum’s Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement; Lauren Cornell, Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects, and Museum as Hub; and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator.
The works on view reflect an “ephemeral existence” in which our material circumstances, both in art and life, can feel precarious, abstract, and out of control. The eleven artists featured in the exhibition react to this condition using various forms of protest: some responses are incisive, while others counter the market’s contradictions with equal measures of irrationality and play.
Works in “The Great Ephemeral” include Constantina Zavitsanos’s tower of personal and familial debt spanning 278 years; Nir Evron’s photographic series, which depicts the rapid construction of a Palestinian housing development whose architecture mirrors the ubiquitous Westernized style of hotels and condominiums instead of that of the surrounding local culture; and Chou Yu-Cheng’s paintings, which, as copies of originals by British artist Geoff Molyneux, challenge an art market that values originality and authenticity. Presented as part of the New Museum’s international partnership program Museum as Hub, the exhibition captures preoccupations shared by artists around the world and how they manifest artistically and socially. Artists include Chen Chieh-jen, Heman Chong, Chou Yu-Cheng, Nir Evron, Joel Holmberg, Chelsea Knight, Lee Kit, Minouk Lim, Jun Yang, Yao Jui-Chung, and Constantina Zavitsanos.