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    How Doug Aitken, Andy Goldsworthy, and Other Artists Turned a Former Retreat for San Francisco Elites Into a Stark Reminder of Climate Change

    It’s almost impossible to think about San Francisco without thinking about its landscape: the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the 1989 Earthquake. California’s Golden City, a boom-and-bust town with an economy, immigrants, and urban identity so tied to its environment, that the climate itself is a central character in San Francisco’s story. 
    It was no surprise then that when For-Site Foundation founding director Cheryl Haines began to consider the next exhibition for the Bay Area-based organization, the climate crisis would be its central query. In the last decade, the city has been plagued by drought and fire, they too becoming local residents in the psyche of San Francisco. But it was when the National Park Service all but tossed Haines the keys to Cliff House, the Victorian-era landmark leisure complex on the Pacific Ocean, that the theme of the new exhibition, titled “Lands End,” really began to take on tones that might otherwise not be there. 

    Cliff House, once the gilded getaway of the wealthy and later an overpriced tourist trap and wedding venue, fell prey to the pandemic and shuttered its doors on the last day of 2020. It remained unoccupied until last month, when For-Site opened the show there. It will occupy the space through March, free and open to the public, at which point the National Park Service hopes to have a new tenant.
    Haines and her team had about six weeks to pull the exhibition together, and only in early September did they begin to install the works by 26 artists, including Doug Aitken, Andy Goldsworthy, Olafur Eliasson, and Ana Teresa Fernandez.
    Despite the urgency and tattered timeline, Haines, who was also behind the 2014 Ai Weiwei show at Alcatraz, felt the exhibition was a necessary endeavor for the foundation: “Because we’re a project-based organization, we disappear in between projects,” she said. “We can’t stay financially viable if we’re quiet for too long.”

    It felt uncomfortably ironic that the day I visited “Lands End,” while it was being installed last month, the Bay Area had just been battered by historic rainfall (effectively ending fire season, the other end of the region’s climate crutch). The water-logged fire alarm inside Cliff House wouldn’t stop beeping throughout the hour Haines took me around. (Sounding the alarm? So on the nose it could have served as a piece of art itself.)
    Instead, inside the 1960s travel lodge rehabbed into a 1990s corporate structure, you’ll find sculpture, painting, video, and social practice works by an impressive roster of bold-named artists in a complete utilization of all spaces (including the trash room!). It’s evocative and ghostly, as well as quite literally a confrontation of our climate. 
    Brian Jungen, Tombstone, (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, B.C.
    Haines personally installed some of the commissions for artists who weren’t able to travel. Of his Geophagia, an experiment in California Kaolin clay, Goldsworthy said: “I wanted to see if it would be possible for me to make this work from a distance—it’s difficult for an artist for whom place is so important. Cheryl would have to be my hands.”  
    The clay is laid over dining tables in the former cafe space, cracking as it dries, and evoking the many themes of California: topography, drought, fault lines, fragile resources, and, as Goldsworthy said, “a reminder that when we dine, we eat earth.” 
    Meanwhile, Ana Teresa Fernandez’s site-specific On the Horizon (2021) is a series of six-foot-high plexiglass tubes, filled with ocean water collected in buckets from outside, materializing the projected sea-level rise. 
    Ana Teresa Fernández, On the Horizon,(2021). Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco.
    Andrea Chung offered Sea Change, a cyanotype not made with the climate in mind, but in her interest exploring Caribbean colonial histories. Hung near huge picture windows facing the ocean, Chung’s work echoes ideas of the “reshaping of land because of colonialism. What we know of the Caribbean is all imposed fantasy of trying to create the garden of Eden, and there are consequences to that that people don’t consider in altering the land.“  
    Though the exhibition is one of discovery—especially of art in unlikely places—that sparks dialogue about the changing nature of our world, “the artists I select don’t hit you on the head,” Haines said. “They’re not aggressive in their messaging, they’re inviting you to consider, and asking questions more than presenting answers.” 
    With a topic as existential, anxiety-provoking, and seemingly insurmountable as climate change, it was important that Haines frame the curation intentionally. “Beauty and seduction of beauty is always a device I’ve used to bring people to big ideas,” she said, “but I’m feeling it more in this show than I have in the past.”
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    Prospect New Orleans Made ‘a Million Compromises’ to Open. Here’s How Organizers Pulled It Off Without Compromising the Art

    Less than two months before the fifth edition of Prospect New Orleans was set to commence this past August, Hurricane Ida devastated the Louisiana city. The fate of the triennial—which was already postponed a year by the pandemic—was once again up in the air. 
    Looming over the dilemma was a kind of perverse irony. The show’s central theme is about how the cycles of the past shape the present, and Ida no doubt recalled another tropical storm, Hurricane Katrina, from which the inaugural Prospect triennial was born 13 years ago. And so organizers of this year’s event decided to push on, too. 
    “It became evident quite quickly that it was important for us to pursue the exhibition,” said Diana Nawi, who curated the show with Naima Keith. As with so many events canceled over the past year and a half, the city’s residents needed a “mark on the calendar.”  
    “What we’ve heard over and over again is how excited people are for Prospect to be open right now,” added Keith. 
    Diana Nawi and Naima J. Keith, the show’s curators. Courtesy of Prospect New Orleans.
    The first slate of Prospect’s 50-plus projects opened last month, with more to come over the following weeks, including new work by artists Dawoud Bey, Dineo Seshee Bopape, and Nari Ward. 
    The slowed rollout wasn’t ideal, but the landscape of New Orleans’s venues changed dramatically over the last year. It was one of the many concessions Keith and Nawi were forced to make as they battled an onslaught of logistical obstacles. Travel restrictions limited site and studio visit opportunities, while supply chain shortages challenged the production of certain artworks. The show’s catalogue, meanwhile, was delayed for months at a shipping port. 
    “A million compromises were made, but I don’t feel that the show was compromised in the slightest,” said Nawi. “It’s a stronger, better show for everything that has challenged it.”
    Most of the show’s participants evolved their contributions over the last year as well, some due to material considerations, others in the name of addressing the current political moment. 
    An installation of new work by Dawoud Bey Vistors on view in “Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow.” Photo: Jose Cotto.
    Glenn Ligon’s neon sculpture listing the names of toppled confederate statues has been updated with new entries, for instance, while new artworks by Willie Birch and Celeste Dupuy-Spencer reflect the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. (All three artists’ offerings will go on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art this week.)
    For her part, Adriana Corral, who had planned to erect an inverted gravestone made of bulletproof glass, decided to reallocate her commission funds, donating the majority to mutual aid in New Orleans. 
    “I think the show is a really moving testament to what people are thinking about, what is important here in New Orleans, and how that reflects out to the larger nation and world at this moment,” said Nawi. It’s critical, she went on, “to bring people here and see what culture means, what the stakes of culture are here.”
    “Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow” is on view now through January 23 at various locations in New Orleans. 
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    In Pictures: The New Museum Opens This Year’s Very Subtle Triennial, Filled With Earthy Tones and Muted Imagery

    The title of this year’s New Museum triennial is “Soft Water Hard Stone.” It’s a moniker that alludes to the natural world, to folk wisdom, and to the kind of quiet, insistent force that makes change over time—the idea being that even something as pliant as a soft current of water, over time, has an effect.
    Curated by Margot Norton and Jamillah James, with the assistance of Jeanette Bisschops, the resulting show does indeed land gently. It’s a show of a lot of things that either lay on the ground or look like they were just picked up off the ground, and things that vaguely evoke a ruin. It is all washed-out colors and neutrals and graphite grays. It has a cool emotional tone (though not a cold one).
    There are almost no big, central images—it’s a lot of things you have to look at like puzzles, for details. Even the big things and the figurative work feel faceless and diffuse somehow. The mental afterimage the show leaves is of a lot of people standing with their backs to you, talking in low tones.
    It offers plenty to think about. As I put together my own thoughts on it, here are some photos of the show, so you can get a taste for yourself.

    4th Floor
    Cynthia Daignault, As I Lay Dying (2021) and Gabriel Chaile, Mamá Luchona (2021) in the New Museum Triennial. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Tanya Lukin Linklater, An Amplification Through Many Minds (2019). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Jeneen Frei Njooti, Fighting for the Title Not to Be Pending (2020). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Various works by Kang Seung Lee. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Nadia Belerique, HOLDINGS (2020-ongoing). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Brandon Ndife, Pistachio (2021) and Market Fare (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Brandon Ndife, Pinched (2021) and Ripe Today, Finally (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Two panels from Cynthia Daignault, As I Lay Dying (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    A work by Erin Jane Nelson. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Gabriela Mureb, Machine #4: stone (ground) (2017). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Alex Ayed, Untitled (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.

    Stairway Gallery
    Alex Ayed, Untitled (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Gabriela Mureb, Machine #3: belt (small) (2013-21). Photo by Ben Davis.
    3rd Floor
    Kate Cooper, Somatic Aliasing (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Krista Clark, Annotations on Shelter 5 (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Tomás Díaz Cedeño, 1000 Años (2019). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Haig Aivazian, All of Your Stars Are But Dust on My Shoes (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Yu Gi, Flesh in Stone Ghost #8 (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Krista Clark, Annotations on Shelter #3 (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Ambera Wellman, Strobe (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Laurie Kang, Great Shuttle (2020-21) and Root 2020-21). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Jes Fan, Networks (for Rupture) (2021) and Networks (for Extension) (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Iris Touliatou, Untitled (Still Not Over You) (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Works by Harry Gould Harvey IV (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Sandra Mujinga, Pervasive Light (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.

    2nd Floor
    Three works by Goutam Ghosh. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Bronwyn Katz, Xãe (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Angelica Loderer, Untitled (ribbons) (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Alex Ayed, Untitled (Sail II) (2020) and Untitled (Sail IV) (2020). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Ima-Abasi Okon, Put Something in the Air: The E-s-s-e-n-t-i-a-l Mahalia Jackson Blowing Up DJ Pollie Pop’s Chopped and Screwed Rendition of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries — Military-Entertainment Complex Dub [Jericho Speak Life!]*(Free of Legacy)* (2017). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Works by Ann Greene Kelly. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Blair Saxon-Hill, Emergency Contact (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Christina Pataialii, Footsteps in the Dark (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Kahlil Robert Irving, Routes&Roots[(SaintLouis NewYork (returnflight)] MEMORY MASSES (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Works by Ann Greene Kelly. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Wallpaper and various untitled works by Evgeny Antufiev and [foreground] Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Nothing further beyond (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Works by Evgeny Antufiev. Photo by Ben Davis.
    Foreground: Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Nothing further beyond (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Rose Salane, 60 Detected Rings (1991-2021) (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Amalie Smith, Clay Theory (2019). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Gaëlle Choisne, Temple of Love—Love to love (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Lobby Gallery
    Arturo Kameya, Who can afford to feed the ghosts (2021). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho, waves move bile (2020). Photo by Ben Davis.
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    In Town for Paris Art Week? Here Are 7 Must-See Museum Shows From Martin Margiela, Marlene Dumas, and Other Artists

    The Frieze tent in London’s Regent’s Park has barely been disassembled and yet eyes have already shifted to Paris. This week, the French capital will welcome FIAC back to the Grand Palais Éphémère for the fair’s 47th edition, this year boasting 170 exhibitors. Elsewhere, the quirkier Paris Internationale will again set up shop in an intimate, residential building at 168 Avenue Victor Hugo, from where the smaller fair will continue its mission to champion emerging galleries.
    Also participating in Paris Art Week are the city’s art institutions, a number of which are mounting a slew of high-caliber exhibitions, the quality of which is so laudable—so “must-see”—that you might even be up prompted to consider cutting fair time in favor of an old-fashioned museum excursion.
    Here are seven you won’t want to miss.
    “Ouverture” at Pinault Collection
    Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Vigil for a Horseman (2017). ©Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Exhibition view, “Ouverture”, Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Pinault Collection. Photo by Aurélien Mole.
    Still fresh from its May unveiling, the new Bourse de Commerce–Collection Pinault continues to bask in that undeniable sparkle of the new. Collector François Pinault’s long-awaited Parisian venture now proudly stands in the Les Halles district, occupying a historic building revitalized under the guidance of visionary architect Tadao Ando.
    Celebrating the museum’s inauguration is “Ouverture,” an ambitious group presentation of 200 works by 32 artists, installed across all 10 exhibition spaces. Works by David Hammons, Cindy Sherman, Maurizio Cattelan, Sherrie Levine, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Antonio Obá, Urs Fischer, and Kerry James Marshall appear in a sprawling display where each artist on view is a heavyweight in their own right.
    Pinault Collection, 2 rue de Viarmes, 75001 Paris; through December 31, 2021.
    “Anne Imhof: Natures Mortes”at Palais de Tokyo
    Anne Imhof, ROOM VI (2021). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Buchholz and Sprüth Magers. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.
    Demand for tickets to “experience” the German artist’s newest project has gotten so intense that Palais de Tokyo implemented nightly extended hours through the show’s close. (At the time of writing, only eight “exceptional” days remain.) In signature Imhof fashion, “Natures Mortes” is touted more as a spectacle than an exhibition, taking over the Parisian center’s entire space with “an all-embracing, polyphonic work” of music, painting, drawing, and, of course, performance.
    The Golden Lion winner also invited a cast of 30 artist “accomplices” to participate in a mysterious team venture that involves fellow artists Oscar Murillo, Precious Okoyomon, Jutta Koether, and Wolfgang Tillmans.
    Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris; through October 24, 2021.
    “Marlene Dumas: Le Spleen de Paris and Conversations”at Musée d’Orsay
    Marlene Dumas, Hafid Bouazza (2020). Courtesy Marlene Dumas. Photo: © Peter Cox, Eindhoven.
    In an ode to Baudelaire and his enduring influence, esteemed contemporary painter Marlene Dumas produced 15 new works born from a collaboration with the late author and translator Hafid Bouazza, and timed to the bicentenary of Baudelaire’s birth, in 1821. Poetry and literature are well-known factors that shape Dumas’s work, and this new series was inspired by the legendary French poet’s collection Le Spleen de Paris. Portraits of figures such as Baudelaire and artist Jean Duval are displayed alongside still lifes that respond to a poem, or contain image motifs, such as a rat or a bottle, referenced within the poetry collection.
    Musée d’Orsay, Esplanade Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 75007 Paris; through January 30, 2022.
    ‘Bonaventure (Trafficking worlds)’at Fondation d’Entreprise Pernod Ricard
    “Bonaventure (Trafiquer les mondes).” Installation view, from left to right: Minia Biabiany, Meris Angioletti, Gina Folly. Photo: Thomas Lannes, 2021.
    Curated by Lilou Vidal, this group exhibition—also known as the 22nd Pernod Ricard Foundation Prize show—brings together (you guessed it) the nominees currently up for the award, which since 1999 has been recognizing artists under 40. Themes of storytelling and the occult dominate this year’s iteration (its title, bonaventure, refers to the uncertainty and risk involved in fortune telling), with rising stars such as Tarek Lakhrissi and Gina Folly included in the lineup of nine participants.
    Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, 1 cours Paul Ricard, 75008 Paris; through October 30, 2021.
    Martin Margielaat Lafayette Anticipations
    © Martin Margiela.
    Even though the trend of “fashion as art” has already peaked—and at this point is veering dangerously close to cliche—Lafayette Anticipations combats such associations head on by noting in the press text that Martin Margiela, founder of French fashion house Maison Margiela, “has always been an artist.”
    Margiela is categorized here as an iconoclast, whose work across various media influenced his unbiased approach to material, providing him an attitude that regards a Caravaggio painting or a box of hair dye with equal significance. The show, organized by distinguished curator Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, is framed as a single artwork in itself, encompassing installations, sculptures, collages, paintings, and films, all being shown publicly for the first time in a “labyrinthine” setting.
    Lafayette Anticipations, 9 rue du Plâtre, F-75004 Paris, October 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022.

    “Bianca Bondi: The Daydream”at Fondation Louis Vuitton
    Bianca Bondi, detail of The Daydream (2021). Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. © Adagp, Paris, 2021, © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage.
    For her first one-person museum outing in France, Bianca Bondi has erected an indoor garden which drew original influence from Mexican cenotes, a form of region-specific topography that is heavily steeped in myth. The artist’s multisensory installation is situated around a central well outfitted with synthetic lungs, or alveoli. The well serves as the site’s primary energy source, by which its lungs regularly emit a colored, fragrant saline solution that “nourishes” the vegetation, flowers, and creepy-crawlers dwelling on branches in this half-fake, half-natural ecosystem. Bondi, who was born in South Africa and now lives in Paris, is an artist to watch: She also has a concurrent solo show at Fondation Carmignac in Porquerolles, France, and is slated to participate in the 2022 Gwangju Biennale.
    Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris; through January 24, 2022.
    Jean Claracqat Musée Eugène Delacroix
    Jean Claracq, Working Class Hero (2021). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana. Photo: Romain Darnaud.
    As part of FIAC’s programming, the emerging painter Jean Claracq has debuted seven new paintings at Musée Delacroix. Created in direct response to two Delacroix works from the Old Master’s namesake permanent collection, Claracq’s compositions examine the tension inherent in contrasting perceptions. Produced in the artist’s typical small-scale format, these new paintings encourage a dialogue with those of Eugène Delacroix. Despite centuries of separation, Claracq possesses distinct similarities to the most influential artist of the French Romantic school, particularly in their shared attempts to capture an individual’s internal distress, especially as it may be influenced by a sense of helplessness in a chaotic world.
    Musée Eugène Delacroix, 6 Rue de Furstemberg, 75006 Paris; through November 1, 2021.
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    ‘You Have to Experience It in the Radical Present’: How Anicka Yi’s Ultra-Sensorial Tate Commission Resists the Age of Instagram Art

    In the aftermath of Kara Walker’s monumental fountain, Carsten Holler’s playground of slides, and Olafur Eliasson’s unforgettable indoor weather project, I had certain expectations for Tate Modern’s latest Turbine Hall commission, which opened yesterday. But the U.S. artist Anicka Yi, who has been tapped for the annual project, has a more subtle flavor than her noisier predecessors.
    A squeal of delight in the audience directed my attention upwards to the bridge across the cavernous room where a fleet of jellyfish-like balloons floated close to the ceiling. For her installation, Yi has invented these hybrid biological and technological creatures called aerobes, which are classified either as “xeno-jellies” whose forms have been inspired by ocean lifeforms or “planulae,” from different types of mushrooms.
    Filled with helium and propelled around the room by rotors, they look like they come from an alien planet but are more benign than H.G. Wells’s tripod creatures. As I drew closer, I realized that they were emitting a faintly pleasant aroma; one floated above me and performed a gentle twirl.
    Installation view of Hyundai Commission Anicka Yi at Tate Modern, October 2021. Photo by Will Burrard Lucas.
    The installation is rooted in the artist’s ongoing interest in shifting the relationship between technology, humans, and the biological world. It proposes a different kind of ecosystem: Her floating creatures imagine new ways that machines could inhabit the world alongside humans, rather than the traditional understanding that they function to serve humans, or work against us in some dystopian capacity.
    “I wanted to open up that dialectic and expand the conversation;” Yi said in a press conference at the unveiling of the work. “Machines don’t necessarily have to serve us or scare us in order to coexist with us.”
    Taking this idea as her starting point, Yi explained how she started to think about the concept of “wilding” machines; eliminating their functionality, and asking what it would look like to live with them then. Inspired by how organisms learn through their bodies and senses, as well as technological advances within the field of soft robotics, Yi endowed the aerobes with a sort of sensory intelligence. They respond to information, including the scents of the building, sources of heat, and an awareness of their place in space relative to each other. 
    Once raised in the air, they are completely autonomous, driven by this artificial life program—a software that can be likened to the mind—that simulates and seeks to understand complex biological behaviors. Their unpredictable movements imbue them with a sense of life; the squeal of delight I had heard was a child reacting to them as animals and not machines.
    Anicka Yi, “In Love With the World,” Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern. Photo by Joe Humphrys, courtesy Tate.
    The sensorial element to the installation also resists the ability to be captured on Instagram. It has an evolving scentscape that you have to physically take into your body to experience, part of a genre that Yi called “metabolic” art. 
    “You have to experience it in the radical present, in your body and mind as one,” she said. The changing odors emitted around the aerobes have been inspired by different eras of the surrounding Bankside area, from marine scents related to pre-human era to the spices thought to ward off the black death in the 14th century to smells from London’s industrial age.
    The scents are subtle and offer up no clear illustrative associations. When I was there, there was was a faintly spicy, not unpleasant, smell of patchouli. When asked what was intended to evoke, Yi informed us wryly that the inspiration was cholera. It’s intentionally a surprise as Yi aims to expand our relationship to smell. We expect to instantly recognize something and categorize it as good or bad, but these confusing scents are not straightforward; they ask you to heighten your awareness, and breathe deeply.
    “Yi has worked with smell and scent for a long time, and partly in terms of questioning the primacy of the visual, and the visual as principally male, rational, industrial, technocratic, and Western,”  the exhibition’s co-curator Achim Borchardt-Hume told Artnet News. “Whereas our experience of the world encompasses all the senses.”
    Installation view of Hyundai Commission “Anicka Yi: In Love With the World” at Tate Modern, October 2021. Photo by Will Burrard Lucas.
    The artist is also interested in the politics of air, in how scent can alter your perception of space, and make you aware of the air around you in ways that you weren’t before. Indeed, as I experience the same awareness of the odors and gasses in a room, and the potential risks they carry, I was instantly more aware that I was sharing the air with others.
    “Engaging with the air, especially in the age of Covid, it’s an especially rich material to unpack,” Yi said. She wanted to foreground the olfactive questions with the pandemic and to really underscore the air that we’re sharing. Indeed, questions of how how we inhabit the world, climate emergency, and coexistence between humans and other species, have taken on a whole new importance over the past two years. Many people who got sick actually lost their sense of smell; I was one of them, and I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how crucial it was to my experience of the world—from determining if something was burning to recalling past experiences—until I lost it.
    “Air is this charged site for social discourse, and with the pandemic and climate crisis it is this substrate that ties us all in this very symbiotic coexistence that we cannot escape,” she said. “We are all these vessels of interdependence and we have a responsibility toward each other.”
    And that’s what the Turbine Hall commission has always done: brought people together. The show places Yi in dialogue with the works before her, such as Superflex’s three-man swings that required people to work together to enjoy them. So, too, does her work underscore how we—as either biological or technological entities—are all in this together.
    “Anicka Yi: In Love With the World” is on view at Tate Modern through January 16.
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    9 Gallery Shows to See in London During Frieze Week, From a Ron Mueck Retrospective to a Motley Crew of Ominous Skeletons

    It’s Frieze week in London, and ahead of the fairs opening to VIPs tomorrow, here’s our pick of what’s on view beyond The Regent’s Park across a selection of galleries in London.

    Elizabeth NeelPilar CorriasThrough October 23
    Installation view, Elizabeth Neel, “Limb after Limb,” at Pilar Corrias. Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, London.
    In “Limb after Limb,” Elizabeth Neel presents a new body of work made in isolation on her family’s farm in rural Vermont. The large-scale paintings on canvas echo the natural environment and the physical and psychological tolls of isolation through a process of abstraction. Also on view is a short documentary about the artist by her brother, Andrew Neel, which explores her practice and fraught experience living as an artist within the legacy of her grandmother, Alice Neel.
    “Limb after Limb” is on view at 2 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PA.
    Simeon BarclayWorkplaceThrough October 29
    Installation view, Simeon Barclay, “England’s Lost Camelot,” at Workplace.Courtesy of the artist and Workplace, London.
    The U.K. artist Simeon Barclay has created new multimedia works and an installation for “England’s Lost Camelot,” on view at Workplace’s West End gallery. Taking its cue from Arthurian legends and the persistence of the figure of the gallant knight in British folklore and iconography, he follows this medieval legend through popular culture as well as his own personal biography, unpacking how these tropes play a role in determining notions of class, race, and gender.
    “Simeon Barclay: England’s Lost Camelot” is on view at 40 Margaret Street, London, W1G 0JH.
    Ösgür KarEmalinThrough November 10
    Özgür Kar, Death with flute (2021). Photo: Stephen James. © Özgür Kar, courtesy of the artist and Emalin, London.
    In “Storage Drama,” his first solo outing with Emalin, Turkish artist Özgür Kar presents three of his eerie “Death” sculptures, minimally animated drawings of musically inclined skeletons that ruminate on the nature of existence with humor and heft. There’s a timelessness to the anxiety expressed, evoking at once medieval manuscripts and plague traditions, but also the banal phrases of online exchanges and our contemporary moment of global disease. Scored by improvised woodwind riffs on an ominous tritone known as the “Devil’s Interval,” viewers might find themselves in a bit of a trance. As one of Kar’s characters puts it: “You either get the vibe or you don’t.”
    “Storage Drama” is on view at 1 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3ET.
    Ron MueckThaddaeus RopacThrough November 13
    Ron Mueck, Dead Dad (1996–97). © Ron Mueck, courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac, London, Paris, Salzburg, and Seoul.
    Spanning 25 years of Ron Mueck’s career, this historical exhibition at Thaddaeus Ropac features some of the Australian sculptor’s most celebrated pieces plus never-before-exhibited works. Mueck’s famous sculpture Dead Dad (1996–97) is on view in the U.K. for the first time since it shocked in the Royal Academy’s storied 1997 “Sensation” exhibition, as is a new, as-yet-unseen cast-iron outdoor sculpture of a skull, Dead Weight (2021), which clocks in at a whopping one tonne. A moving figure of a young Black man with a stab wound, Youth (2009/2011), speaks to the urgency of addressing urban crime. From the small-scale to the monumental, the works on view evoke the gamut of human emotions and experiences.
    “Ron Mueck: 25 Years of Sculpture 1996–2021” is on view at 37 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NJ.
    “Sorry It’s a Mess, We Just Moved In!”LAMB ArtsThrough November 13
    Clara Hastrup, Untitled (Leek) (2021). Courtesy of LAMB Arts, London.
    This lively group exhibition explores everyday objects and the role they play in shaping and holding onto identity, asking whether, in a digital age, the physical carries more significance, or less. Curated by Roya Sachs, it places blue-chip names such as Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Erwin Wurm, and Isa Genzken in dialogue with works by emerging artists, such as Clara Hastrup’s photographs of “Perishable Sculptures,” to ask how we relate to objects, from throwaway items to functional commodities to treasured tokens of memory.
    “Sorry It’s a Mess, We Just Moved In!” is on view at 32 St. George Street, London, W1S 2EA.
    Noah DavisDavid ZwirnerThrough November 17
    Noah Davis, 40 Acres and a Unicorn (2007). © The Estate of Noah Davis, courtesy of the Estate of Noah Davis and David Zwirner.
    Curator Helen Molesworth has selected works by the late U.S. artist Noah Davis that span his brief but bright career for the first presentation of the artist’s dreamlike, figurative paintings in the U.K. The show is a follow-up to an acclaimed exhibition at David Zwirner in New York in January 2020, and while there are some repeats, most of the works on view will be different. Significantly, the London edition imports a version of the artist’s ambitious social-practice project, the Underground Museum, installed in the gallery’s upper level. Headquartered in an underserved Black and Latinx neighborhood in Los Angeles, the initiative is a Black-owned and -run art space that shows museum-quality work. Highlighting the importance to Davis of community, the show includes a sculpture by the artist’s widow, Karon Davis, and the film BLKNWS, by his brother, Kahlil Joseph, famed in his own right.
    “Noah Davis” is on view at 24 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EZ.
    Issy Wood Carlos/IshikawaThrough November 20
    Issy Wood, The sides (2021). © Issy Wood. Courtesy of the artist; Carlos/Ishikawa, London; and JTT, New York.
    The young painting sensation Issy Wood’s exhibition “Trilemma” at Carlos/Ishikawa will scratch your brain—and not just because all the paintings are on velvet. The artist created this series of ‘depression’ paintings during lockdown in response to her contracted surroundings, and in works based on snippets of screenshots from the films and TV shows she was watching, there is an eerie sense of nostalgia for a world that once was. The show also includes a foray into installation with a suite of painted, velvet-upholstered Carlo Scarpa furniture entitled What if you showed up (2021) installed in the middle of the gallery.
    “Issy Wood: Trilemma” is on view at Unit 4, 88 Mile End Road, London, E1 4UN.

    “Social Works II”GagosianThrough December 18
    Installation view, “Social Works II,” at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, London. Courtesy Gagosian.
    This group exhibition on view at the gallery’s Grosvenor Hill location is the sequel to recently-appointed director and curator Antwaun Sargent’s inaugural show at Gagosian in New York. It places front and center artists of the African diaspora whose projects extend beyond the walls of the gallery and into social practice. From architect Sumayya Vally’s wall fragment that functions as a site for research and ritual to historical collages by Black Arts Movement pioneer (and Turner Prize–winner) Lubaina Himid, the exhibition probes the ways that geography informs identity and perception in different communities and spaces.
    “Social Works II” is on view at 20 Grosvenor Hill, London, W1K 3QD.

    A.A. MurakamiSuperblueThrough Summer 2022
    New Spring (2017). Photo: Juriaan Booij. Courtesy of COS x Studio Swine.
    The Tokyo- and London-based duo A.A. Murakami—made up of Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves from Studio Swine—has been tapped to debut Superblue in London, following the global launch of the experiential art powerhouse in Miami in May.
    For “Silent Fall”—on view at Pace’s former Burlington Gardens space—the pair is presenting a new, Instagram-friendly multi-sensory experience that immerses audiences in a seemingly infinite forest of glowing trees. Their branches emit misty bubbles, which unleash different scents of nature, from pine to moss, when they burst. It’s part of the artists’ “ephemeral tech” installations, which use sophisticated technology to recreate organic experiences, and offers a glimpse of a future world in which we are trying to recreate a sense of the sublime in a nature that is lost.
    “Silent Fall” is on view at 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1J 0PE.
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    ‘Greater New York,’ MoMA PS1’s Closely Watched Survey, Returns to Excavate New York’s Past and Reckon With Its Surreal Present

    In the later category, she pointed to the work of photographer Marilyn Nance, famous for her work documenting African-American life and the African diaspora in New York (and beyond, though the works in this show are focused on New York City), as well as Hiram Maristany who grew up in East Harlem and regularly documented the lives of the close-knit Puerto Rican community.
    Works by Hiram Maristany in “Greater New York.” Photo by Ben Davis.
    Maristany was the official photographer of the activist group known as the Young Lords, Katrib noted. In addition to protests where they asserted their rights, the Lords were also involved in activities to support the East Harlem community, including organizing clothing drives and picking up trash.
    Katrib pointed to a more contemporary documentary impulse in the work of Black Mass Publishing, a collective established in 2018. The group publishes zines and books of both new and archival content by Black artists aimed at fostering new conversations about Black cultural production.
    Installation view of gallery devoted to Blackmass Publishing in “Greater New York.” Photo by Ben Davis.
    In “Greater New York,’ one gallery, dubbed “Black Mass Publishing Study Hall,” features a library of zines and pamphlets to peruse.
    Another work that seems to encapsulate New York City’s former gritty downtown days is the video of poet Diane Burns. Standing in front of trash and rubble-strewn empty lots, against a backdrop of ghostly tenement buildings, Burns is captured reciting her poem, Alphabet City Serenade, her voice looping in the galleries.
    Video of Diane Burns, Poetry Spots: Diane Burns reads ‘Alphabet City Serenade’ (1989) in “Greater New York.” Photo by Ben Davis.
    Burns, who was born in Kansas to a Chemehuevi father and an Anishinabe mother, ruminates on “Loisada” versus her life back home. “Hey man, can you spare a cigarette? Do you know of a place to sublet?,” she riffs.
    Katrib pointed to Japanese-American artist Yuji Agematsu as using a mixture of both documentary and surrealism to convey his experience. zip:01.01.20 . . .12:31.20 (2020) is a massive but delicate wall-length work composed of a series of vitrines.
    One of the cases from Yuji Agematsu, zip:01.01.20 . . .12:31.20 (2020). Photo by Ben Davis.
    Inside each is a “calendar” with individual days portrayed as intact cellophane cigarette wrappers that serve as containers for the debris the artist gathered and placed in them on a particular day—chewed gum, bottle caps, scraps of paper—after having gathered them from the streets of New York.
    “It’s like this calendar archive document, but it’s also very surreal and abstract,” says Katrib.
    Works by G. Peter Jemison in “Greater New York.” Photo by Ben Davis.
    The show has a focus on issues related to indigeneity. You see this, for instance, in the work of G. Peter Jemison, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. But it is also international in scope, incorporating the work of artists from Brazil, Iran, Lebanon, and Egypt, often touching on issues of attempted integration and feelings of estrangement.
    The curatorial team also includes writer and curator Serubiri Moses, MoMA PS1 director Kate Fowle, and MoMA Latin American art curator Inés Katzenstein. After more than a year of lockdown and organizing—including Zoom studio visits with artists who were just minutes away—the show they have produced feels both timely and on point.
    “The situation we’re in now is really just underscoring and underlining the things that artists were already dealing with,” says Katrib. “I think one of the biggest challenges was just the isolation, especially for the older generation of artists who were more at risk. We really wanted to respect and honor that New York is a city where different generations of artists can be together and support one another.”
    “Greater New York” is on view at MoMA PS1 in New York through April 18, 2022. More

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    Five Artist-Collective Nominees Go Beyond Empty Talk to Deliver Acts of Solidarity in Turner Prize Exhibition

    For all the criticisms of stodginess, it is a testament to the ongoing cultural significance of the Turner Prize—the U.K.’s most prestigious contemporary-art honor—that it continues to incite passionate analysis from aficionados and naysayers alike. Though historically a controversial event, recent years have seen increased fervor for upending the familiar formula, usually in the name of today’s most popular buzzword: “solidarity.” 
    For instance, the 2019 finalists—Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani—famously both shunned and welcomed the award with their joint acceptance of the prize, made as a “statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity, and solidarity.” 
    Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, U.K., this year’s Turner Prize exhibition venue. © Garry Jones Photography.
    In May 2020, Tate Britain doled out ten individual artists’ bursaries in lieu of a single winner and the customary group exhibition. Again, the lofty goal was to “help support a larger selection of artists through this period of profound disruption and uncertainty,” as Tate Britain announced in a press release. 
    Now, in 2021, this turn toward the utopian continues, with this year’s iteration marking the first time the Turner Prize jury selected a shortlist consisting solely of artist collectives. Tate Britain has said that the nominees—Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical, and Project Art Works—“reflect the solidarity and community demonstrated in response to the pandemic.”
    Installation view of work by Gentle/Radical in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: Garry Jones.
    Indeed, the fabric of all five collectives’ practices consists of various threads of social activism woven together through film, painting, installation, or sound. But the decision sparked backlash, with a chorus of think pieces (in ArtReview, Frieze, and elsewhere) lamenting the character of the 2021 Turner Prize. Nominee B.O.S.S. actually issued its own statement denouncing the Tate’s allegedly superficial commitment to social issues.
    Installation view of work by Gentle/Radical in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: David Levene.
    All of this preemptive brouhaha has finally culminated with the official opening of the Turner Prize exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, the U.K.’s 2021 City of Culture. The five collectives’ presentations stretch across four individual galleries, with the Welsh entrant, Gentle/Radical, serving as the curtain-raiser in an introductory space removed from its nominated peers. The community activists—not all made up of traditional artists—present a series of flags alongside a projection focused around Gorsedd bardic prayers, in a defiant post-colonial reclamation of Welsh culture.
    Installation view of work by Cooking Sections in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: Doug Peters/PA Wire.
    Elsewhere, the ultra-hot Cooking Sections, who just closed a stellar solo show at Tate Britain, somewhat lazily relies upon a reheat of that recent exhibition, once again examining the effects of salmon farming. Since this duo is concerned with how our food consumption impacts the climate emergency, why not shed light upon a new aspect of that complex and enormous issue, given the opportunity of this highly visible platform?
    Installation view of work by B.O.S.S. in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: David Levene.
    B.O.S.S. offers a dark room sparsely outfitted with a stark set of speakers paired with flowing banners animated by household fans placed on the floor beneath, all capped off with a black obsidian sphere on a plinth. A streamer announces that “Sound is the only system,” which comes across as a half-baked declaration: despite the conviction with which it is declared, the statement’s zeal is rendered moot by the absence of precise meaning. (If the installation underwhelms, it should be noted that B.O.S.S.’s public criticism also addressed the lack of adequate time for the group to prepare for the exhibition.)
    Installation view of work by Project Art Works in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: Doug Peters/PA Wire.
    Project Art Works, hailing from Hastings, restages a “typical” artist’s studio. Their intervention initially appears to be an ordinary creative space, with framed works hung on white walls. Yet the gallery’s conventional white-cube feel is interrupted by a smaller enclave, installed smack-dab in the center of the room, that houses an archive of over 4,000 works by neurodivergent artists. Project Art Work’s accomplishment is rooted in this sleight of hand, disarming the audience with the slick banality of the initial setting, which amplifies the revelation that neurodiverse creators are responsible for all of the art on view—thus making it clear that greater visibility and acceptance for such “disabilities” benefits culture at large.
    Installation view of Project Art Works in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: Garry Jones.
    Last but not least, the Belfast-based Array Collective, which focuses on social issues affecting Northern Ireland—including abortion rights, queer visibility, mental health, and gentrification—has created a makeshift pub which takes up the majority of their allotted gallery space in an installation that stands head and shoulders above their fellow nominees.
    The colloquial “pub” dates back to 1859, a slang shortening of “public house.” Though that fact is not explicitly referenced in the exhibition text, the idea of a location built solely as a space for a community to come together looms large here. A three-channel video work is mounted on the far wall, with members of marginalized communities relating mythological stories with knee-slapping barroom humor. I was moved to tears by one portion describing LGBTQ+ persons living in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Despite the horror of that history, tales of “Catholic fairies” and “Protestant fairies” who managed to actively identify and recover a sense of love, kindness, and community provided the most powerful moment during this year’s remarkable Turner Prize exhibition.
    Installation view of work by Array Collective in the Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry. Photo: David Levene.
    Pitting socially-minded activist collectives against each other could be perceived as a contest of moral superiority, particularly when staged during a moment in which use of the term “solidarity” has become near-meaningless in its ubiquity. But even if the concept of solidarity seems saccharine—and even arguably outdated at this point—the Turner Prize jury correctly identified the pulse of current art-making. By that measure, this is a successful exhibition. It should appeal not only to those interested in contemporary art, but also to those with a stake in discourses propelling critical change in society today.
    “Turner Prize 2021” is on view at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, U.K., September 29, 2021–January 12, 2022.
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