The New Museum- Engendering genders
Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Toxic, 2012 (still).
Super 16mm film transferred to HD, 13 min.
Courtesy the artists, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, and Galerie Marcelle Alix
This group show opened on Sept. 27 and will be on view until Jan. 21 of 2018, it presents works in a variety of mediums by over forty international artists. Giving voices to both seasoned artists and new artists, the exhibition examines "Gender's place" within the contemporary cultural landscape.
Simone Leigh, Queen Bee, 2008–2012.
Terra cotta, TV antenna, gold, graphite, platinum,
dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York
While this may seem a thorny issue in popular media and conservative institutions, however, the advantage of starting the gender discourse in a museum is that the visual rhetoric is often more comprehensive and comprehensible than the verbal debates.
The exhibition is best viewed from the 4th floor, then work your way down to the third and the second-floor galleries. As the elevator door opens on the 4th floor, the presence of a large video projection- "Toxic," 2012 by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz almost takes over the entire gallery. A part of this video presents a staged interview between an off-camera person and on-camera character. The seemingly comical response through the character's exaggerated mannerism embeds a double ambiguity of gender-identification. As the character is played by a female, playing a male, playing a female, it puts a twist in the conventional perception of gender role-play.
Mariah Garnett, Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin, 2012.
Installation view, Human Resources, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist
Liz Collins, Crying, 2017. Silk, cotton, wool, 48 × 43 in (122 × 109.2 cm). Courtesy the artist
Diamond Stingily, Kaa, 2016.
Kanekalon hair, knockers, barrettes, beads, 240 in (609.6 cm).
Courtesy the artist and Queer Thoughts, New York
This exhibition at the New Museum addresses issues of gender critically but doesn't just point fingers at anyone for misunderstanding. Rather, it makes one realize the complexity behind the issue through various channels. If it doesn't resolve the debate on this issue, it certainly opens up the conversation toward a more open-minded acceptance of how unavoidably important it is, especially now.