New Museum Triennial, “Songs for Sabotage”
              Kevin McGarry
              “Songs for Sabotage,” the fourth New Museum Triennial, is suavely branded as a survey of 26 subversive practices from around the world. The curators, Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld, frame the exhibition with an astute awareness of the challenges it faces as an institution that would seem to reify the repressive ideologies it purports to dismantle. In his catalog text, Gartenfeld—who might be considered the most precocious institutional mind of the generation still younger than Jesus, and thus keenly attuned to the trappings of dwelling on age—addresses the wise move to excise the word “generational” from the show’s identity (though it remains a round-up of artists under 35), writing, as a kind of disclaimer: “Previously described as a ‘generational’ survey, the Triennial implicitly and explicitly weds the notion of youth to international movements in order to link artistic potential (both criticality and marketability) to demographics.” Further, he parses how the Triennial is positioned in such a way that makes it an increasingly impossible curatorial undertaking: “The implicit task of the Triennial is to contrast the spirit of internationalism—solidarity, diversity, autonomy—with the deleterious, dominating processes of globalization, and to observe and propose points of connection that might be liberatory, rather than merely …
              New Museum Triennial, "The Ungovernables"
              Arnaud Gerspacher
              The Grand Inquisitor and Diogenes are crucial figures of the ungovernable—one as cynical exercise of power with impunity, the other as mocking embrace of bare life and irreverence towards authority. These two figures continue to represent the polarities we inhabit: the unofficially ungovernable states and institutions that wield great power (doing business in an official capacity) and officially ungovernable communities that are neglected, perish, or resist (in unofficial capacities). Jean-Luc Nancy’s understanding of this polarity is between the global death-drive of the “un-world” and the creative stirring of “world-making” that resists the cold closure of such an immonde. Some of us have had the luxury of hiding in the middle—increasingly wary of being controlled by larger ungovernables (global capitalism, military states, religious fundamentalisms) yet equally wary of the sacrifices necessary to becoming more ungoverned ourselves. Who can afford to be Diogenes anymore, especially when so many parts of the world fill the role at little or no cost, without choice and little exposure? It is depressingly clear that history has been far kinder to the grand inquisitors, whose qualifications continue to make for attractive hires at high-level positions. This time, however, if there is an inconvenient return, it is not …

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