previews

  • Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013, video, color, sound, 13 minutes. From “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.”

    Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013, video, color, sound, 13 minutes. From “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.”

    “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today”

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
    25 Harbor Shore Drive
    February 7–May 20, 2018

    Curated by Eva Respini with Jeffrey De Blois

    If contemporary art is increasingly defined as art made since 1989, it is partly because that is the year the World Wide Web was born, triggering seismic shifts in how art is produced, distributed, and consumed—or so this exhibition will argue. By no means a survey of “net art” (only three of the roughly seventy-five works are web based), it aims to assess the impact of digital technologies on works by the likes of Hito Steyerl and Trevor Paglen, suggesting both a framework and a canon. The challenges here, as always with this topic, are numerous: inventing taxonomies that productively articulate an anarchic field of works; successfully displaying digital art in a white-cube context (sometimes against its will); and addressing the relationship between technology, capital, and ideology. With a hefty catalogue featuring scholars and curators such as Caroline A. Jones and Lauren Cornell, the show promises to be deliberate in working through these issues. On the merit of this alone, it’s already #winning.

  • “Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974–1995”

    MIT List Visual Arts Center
    20 Ames Street E15
    February 8–April 15, 2018

    Curated by Henriette Huldisch

    In our current age of portable microscreens and flat-screen TVs, it is hard to recall the stubborn materiality of the midcentury television set. Yet before large-screen projection became enshrined in museum and gallery spaces, a generation of Conceptual artists seeking alternatives to both experimental cinema and Minimalist sculpture seized on the availability of inexpensive consumer video technology as a new frontier. These artists did not explore television exclusively as a window onto an ideological world but as a three-dimensional object that might be moved from the domestic space of the living room and reimagined as a sculptural form. Including the monitor-based work of a dozen international artists, MIT’s upcoming exhibition recovers a crucial period of experimentation in the evolution of this media art while highlighting the important role women played in the movement. Pioneering works by Shigeko Kubota, Nam June Paik, Dara Birnbaum, Takahiko Iimura, Adrian Piper, Mary Lucier, and others interrogate and reenvision the relationships between bodies and technology, gender and gesture, and the society of the spectacle and its spectators.