Second New Museum Generational Triennial: "The Ungovernables"

Second New Museum Generational Triennial: "The Ungovernables"

New Museum

February 13, 2012

Second New Museum Generational Triennial: “The Ungovernables”
Open to the public February 15,
Exhibition Features Thirty-Four Artists, Groups, and Temporary Collectives

New Museum
235 Bowery
Wed–Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Thurs 7–9 p.m. Free Admission)

The 2012 New Museum Triennial is the only recurring exhibition in the United States devoted to presenting young artists from around the globe. Opening to the public on February 15, the Triennial will feature thirty-four artists, artist groups, and temporary collectives, born between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, many of whom have never before exhibited in the US. This second New Museum Triennial, titled “The Ungovernables,” is curated by Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, with Ryan Inouye, Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition will be on view throughout the entire Museum until April 22, 2012. For a full list of participants visit:

“The Ungovernables” acknowledges the impossibility of fully representing a generation in formation and instead embraces the energy of that generation’s urgencies. These urgencies are formal and philosophical, material and ideological. They stem from the unique experiences of this generation who came of age in the aftermath of the independence and revolutionary movements that promised to topple Western colonialism. However, these revolutions became mired in military dictatorships, the emergence of integrated world capitalism, regional and global economic crises, the rise of fundamentalism, and international interventions as well as failures to intervene. Faced with this somewhat bleak inheritance, artists in “The Ungovernables” embrace their complex relationship to history and assert a remarkable resourcefulness, pragmatism, and hopefulness in their work.

Historically used as both a derogative colonial term to justify violent repression of the “natives” (“These people are ungovernable!”) and an affirmative call for civil disobedience (“We will make this country ungovernable!”), ungovernability is a double-edged sword that pursues a radical change in the everyday, but promises an upheaval that is not necessarily controllable. In terms of this exhibition, “The Ungovernables” is meant to suggest both anarchic and organized resistance: protest, chaos, and imagination as a refusal of the extended period of economic, ideological, sectarian, and political conflict that marks the generation’s inheritance. But the title also suggests a dark humor about this inheritance and the nonsentimental, noncynical approaches to history and survival it requires. Rejecting proscribed relationships to history and society, artists in “The Ungovernables” enact the present they desire through their work. The exhibition attempts to provide a platform for these multifaceted presents, with its structure responding to the urgencies of the artists and the form of the works themselves.

The exhibition includes artists’ residencies conducted over the past year (including three that extend beyond the opening of this exhibition) and several works, “invisible” in the galleries, that take place before, during, and after the exhibition. A full list of these activities can be found at

“The Ungovernables” will be accompanied by a 256-page exhibition catalogue designed by Santiago Piedrafita, Head of Graphic Design, North Carolina State University, and published by Rizzoli. The catalogue will include full-color, four-page spreads on each of the thirty-four artists and groups, as well as essays and fiction by nine participating artists, writer/curator Miguel A. López, curator Gabi Ngcobo, and Triennial curator, Eungie Joo. Building on the Museum as Hub model, preparation for “The Ungovernables” incorporated lengthy consultation with a network of curators, organizations, and artists from around the world, including Museum as Hub partners. Their contributions have most notably inspired the Art Spaces Directory, a 448-page resource guide to over 400 independent art spaces from ninety-six countries, co-published by ArtAsiaPacific and featuring contributions by Víctor Albarracín, Reem Fadda and Christine Tohme, Stefan Kalmár, Naiza H. Khan, Catalina Lozano, Elaine W. Ng, and

The title sponsor of “The Generational” is the Joe Fresh brand, a new-to-New-York fashion line.

This exhibition is made possible by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust.

Artists residencies through the Museum as Hub Program are generously supported by:
the Ford Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Major support is provided by the Friends of “The Generational”: Co-Chairs Shelley Fox Aarons, Toby Devan Lewis, and Lonti Ebers.

Steering Committee: The Booth Heritage Foundation Inc., Ellyn and Saul Dennison, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, María José Garcés, Carol and Arthur A. Goldberg, Sunny and Brad Goldberg, Lietta and Dakis Joannou, Tina Kim and Jaewoong Chung, Ken Kuchin, Sueyun Locks, Shaun Caley Regen, Lyndley and Samuel Schwab, Eve Steele and Peter Gelles, and Laurie and David Wolfert.

Friends: Mark Bradford, Michael Joo, Lorenzo Martone, Kathleen O’Grady, Damián Ortega, Lorna Simpson, Ana Sokoloff, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kara Walker, Haegue Yang, and Rosina Lee Yue and Bert A. Lies, Jr.

Additional support provided by: Artis Contemporary Israeli Art Fund, Asian Cultural Council, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Embassy of Colombia, Washington D.C., Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ostrovsky Family Fund, and the Standard Hotel, New York.

Second New Museum Generational Triennial: "The Ungovernables"
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