Together, the artists in “Songs for Sabotage” propose a kind of propaganda, engaging with new and traditional media in order to reveal the built systems that construct our reality, images, and truths. The exhibition amounts to a call for action, an active engagement, and an interference in political and social structures, and will bring together works across mediums by approximately thirty artists from nineteen countries, the majority of whom are exhibiting in the United States for the first time.
“Songs for Sabotage” explores interventions into cities, infrastructures, and the networks of everyday life, proposing objects that might create common experience. The exhibition takes as a given that these structures are linked to the entrenched powers of colonialism and institutionalized racism that magnify inequity. Through their distinct approaches, the artists in “Songs for Sabotage” offer models for dismantling and replacing the political and economic networks that envelop today’s global youth. Invoking the heightened role of identity in today’s culture, they take on the technological, economic, and material structures that stand in the way of collectivity.
These artists are further connected by both their deep engagements with the specificity of local context and a critical examination—and embrace—of the internationalism that links them. Their works range widely in medium and form, including painted allegories for the administration of power, sculptural proposals to renew (and destroy) monuments, and cinematic works that engage the modes of propaganda that influence us more and more each day. Viewed in ensemble, these works provide models for reflecting upon and working against a system that seems doomed to failure.
“Songs for Sabotage” is curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator at the New Museum, and Alex Gartenfeld, founding Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, with Francesca Altamura, Curatorial Assistant. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue copublished by the New Museum and Phaidon Press Limited.
ABOUT THE TRIENNIAL
The New Museum Triennial is the only recurring international exhibition in New York City devoted to emerging artists from around the world, providing an important platform for a new generation of artists who are shaping the current discourse of contemporary art and the future of culture. The first edition was initiated in 2009 with “Younger Than Jesus,” organized by Massimiliano Gioni, Laura Hoptman, and Lauren Cornell. The second Triennial, “The Ungovernables,” was organized by Eungie Joo in 2012. The third Triennial, “Surround Audience,” was organized by Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin with Sara O’Keeffe and Helga Christoffersen in 2015.
Cian Dayrit (b. 1989, Manila, Philippines; lives and works in Rizal, Philippines)
Violet Dennison (b. 1989, Bridgeport, CT; lives and works in New York, NY)
Tomm El-Saieh (b. 1984, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Janiva Ellis (b. 1987, Oakland, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA)
Claudia Martínez Garay (b. 1983, Ayacucho, Peru; lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Haroon Gunn-Salie (b. 1989, Cape Town, South Africa; lives and works between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Matthew Angelo Harrison (b. 1989, Detroit, MI; lives and works in Detroit, MI)
Tiril Hasselknippe (b. 1984, Arendal, Norway; lives and works in Oslo, Norway)
Inhabitants (founded in 2015, New York, NY, by Pedro Neves Marques and Mariana Silva) with Margarida Mendes
KERNEL (founded in 2009, Athens, Greece, by Pegy Zali, Petros Moris, and Theodoros Giannakis; live and work in Athens, Greece)
Manolis D. Lemos (b. 1989, Athens, Greece; lives and works in Athens, Greece)
Zhenya Machneva (b. 1988, Leningrad, Russia; lives and works in St. Petersburg, Russia)
Chemu Ng’ok (b. 1989, Nairobi, Kenya; lives and works in Grahamstown, South Africa)
Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude (b. 1988, Harare, Zimbabwe; lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe)
Daniela Ortiz (b. 1985, Cusco, Peru; lives and works in Barcelona, Spain)
Lydia Ourahmane (b. 1992, Saïda, Algeria; lives and works between Oran, Algeria, and London, UK)
Hardeep Pandhal (b. 1985, Birmingham, UK; lives and works in Glasgow, UK)
Dalton Paula (b. 1982, Brasília, Brazil; lives and works in Goiânia, Brazil)
Julia Phillips (b. 1985, Hamburg, Germany; lives and works in New York, NY)
Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong; lives and works in Hong Kong)
Anupam Roy (b. 1985, West Bengal, India; lives and works in New Delhi, India)
Manuel Solano (b. 1987, Mexico City, Mexico; lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico)
Diamond Stingily (b. 1990, Chicago, IL; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY)
Song Ta (b. 1988, Leizhou, China; lives and works in Guangzhou, China)
Wilmer Wilson IV (b. 1989, Richmond, VA; lives and works in Philadelphia, PA)
Shen Xin (b. 1990, Chengdu, China; lives and works between London, UK, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands)