The New Museum’s latest exhibit exhumes the art of 1993

Wolfgang Tillman's "Moby Living," on display at the New Museum's current exhibit "NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash Can and No Star" Credit: New Museum
Wolfgang Tillman’s “Moby Living,” on display at the New Museum’s current exhibit “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star”
Credit: New Museum

 

Good news, everyone: Beavis and Butthead are 20 years old. The year 1993 began with the split of Czechoslovakia and ended (though few knew it at the time) with the murder of Brandon Teena. In between were peace attempts in the Mideast, a major LGBT march in Washington, a national health care debate and a couple of action pics from Sylvester Stallone.

“Though it’s 20 years ago, it feels like the world we’re living in now,” says Gary Carrion-Murayari, one of the curators of the New Museum’s exhibit “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” (a nod to Sonic Youth). The exhibition presents pieces that either originated out of the city’s thriving art scene or debuted at one of its galleries.

Despite reminders of 20 -year-old events — as seen on the 12 TVs on the fifth floor that relentlessly spin through the events of each of the year’s days — the series is not about nostalgia. Instead it’s a dialogue with the past. Though in several cases little has changed, the works show artists confronting major socio-political issues, sometimes for the first time. Race, gender politics, homosexuality, the family, mortality, taste — all are bluntly questioned. Marlene McCarthy’s “In Honor of Allen R. Schindler” pays tribute to soldiers murdered for their homosexuality, while Cheryl Donegan’s video “Head” confronts the sexualization of women.

“We identified 1993 as this turning point in which there emerged a new generation separate from the one in the ‘80s. There were a number of exhibitions that year that broke this new generation of New York artists to the larger world,” says Carrion-Murayari. Indeed, one can see some of the first public pieces by Matthew Barney, John Currin and Sean Landers. The exhibit also features work by already-established names, like Cindy Sherman, Todd Haynes and Brit Derek Jarman, represented by “Blue,” his filmic swan song, made when he had partially lost his sight due to AIDS-related complications. (He died the next year.)

Not all of the work was appreciated at the time. Carrion-Murayari brings up Glenn Ligon, whose work — including his amusingly conceptual “Red Portfolio” photos, on display in the exhibit — initially drew ire. Today he’s hailed as a great artist. “Some works have lost their shock value,” she says. “But that allows us to be more considerate and more thoughtful about what they mean.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Music

The Handsome Family on 'True Detective' Emmy and…

When asked to describe The Handsome Family’s latest album, Rennie Sparks channels Rust Cohle of “True Detective.” “A strange problem that humans have is that…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.