Organized by the Department of Education and Public Engagement, the New Museum Spring 2016 R&D Season: Legacy will explore the ways and means by which our connections to the past are actively produced, evaluated, maintained, reproduced, and refuted. Operating across various presentational and pedagogical formats, the Season will include new projects by three artists: Cheryl Donegan, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Michael Kliën (in collaboration with theMartha Graham Dance Company). Here, Legacy and its constructs will be considered with respect to fashion, the readymade, utopian communities, institutional histories, and social choreographies.
Cheryl Donegan: Scenes + Commercials
January 20–April 10, 2016
Working across video, painting, and performance, Cheryl Donegan (b. 1962) explores the production and consumption of images in mass culture, middlebrow design, and art history. In her performance and video work spanning the early ’90s to the early ’00s, Donegan often used her body as an apparatus for mark-making, parodying the conventions of commercials and music videos while considering the politics of self-representation. Over the last decade, she has continued her exploration of the mediated image and her interests in surface, compressed space, and the mark’s indexical relation to the body in paintings and sculptures produced in her studio as well as in videos distributed on social media.
In her exhibition on the New Museum’s fifth floor, she will present works from throughout her career, bringing together key projects that have been generative of new pieces in her oeuvre. A new installation within the exhibition, Concept Store, will display garments, drawings, prints, and textiles she has produced alongside items she has sourced from websites such as eBay, engaging in a process that she refers to as “refashioning the readymade.”
As part of her residency, Donegan will also organize a robust lineup of associated public programs.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
April 20–June 12, 2016
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s (b. 1972) projects blur the lines between ethnography, fiction, and documentary film and examine the symbolic and material histories of the local communities she observes with her camera. Her engagement with LEGACY will grapple with the ways in which our connections to the past are actively produced, maintained, and refuted, with an eye to utopian communities, institutional histories, and social choreographies. For her exhibition on the Museum’s fifth floor, Santiago Muñoz will premiere a new body of work that includes a series of 16mm portraits of anthropologists, activists, and artists working in Haiti and Puerto Rico. Her films capture the aspirations and imagined futures of dissidents, feminists, and political organizers who are deeply invested in alternative models of being, and use these individuals’ stories as allegories for larger political possibilities in these regions.
Michael Kliën: Excavation Site: Martha Graham U.S.A.
January 16, 2016, 3–7pm
Off-site location: Martha Graham Studio Theater, 55 Bethune Street, Floor 11, New York
A further extension of the New Museum’s engagement with LEGACY will take the form of a special off-site performance at the Martha Graham Studio Theater, organized by R&D Season artist and choreographer Michael Kliën. In this one-time-only dance event, a multigenerational group of performers from the Martha Graham Dance Company’s past, present, and future will excavate their relationships to Graham and the underlying “movement forces” that bind them to one another, to Graham, and to the Company. Organized by Kliën with dramaturge Steve Valk, Excavation Site: Martha Graham U.S.A. will bypass the institutionalized social structures of the Company to uncover new paths of organization and potential between its participants. Audiences will be invited to explore the work for any length of time. Excavation Site: Martha Graham U.S.A.is copresented with the Martha Graham Dance Company, as part of its ninetieth season, and Performance Space 122, as part of the COIL 2016 Festival.
New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collections of Ideas around Legacy
Sessions: March 7–May 23, 2016
Aligned with R&D Season themes, New Museum Seminars provide a platform for discussing and debating ideas as they emerge and for developing scholarship directly referencing art’s place in culture. A group of 10 to 12 adult participants from diverse backgrounds will meet regularly for 12 weeks to plan and implement a bibliography as well as a public event featuring leading figures whose work has shaped the topic of study.
Experimental Study Program
Classes: February 4–April 21, 2016
The New Museum’s Experimental Study Program (ESP) pairs youths (15 to 20 years old) with artists in residence to collaborate on projects and research related to Season themes. Over the course of a full semester, teens have the opportunity to learn about contemporary art and engage in critical discussions about culture. This Season, through close work with peers and in interactive workshops, participants will collaborate with artist in residence Cheryl Donegan on the premiere of her outerwear collection.
- Cheryl Donegan: Scenes + Commercials
- Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, La Cueva Negra, work in progress, 2013