VIVIAN LI is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.
Although this grouping of cast objects demonstrates the artist’s long-standing fascination with materials and reproduction, a room full of them can feel like monuments—anonymous and easy to dismiss. But maybe that is the point, to look closely past surface meanings.
Nation-themed contemporary art exhibitions can be problematic, especially now when so many artists work in the context of globalization. Nonetheless, national exhibitions still retain enough public appeal to justify their continued existence. In this context, Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now is surprisingly thoughtful, in part because it does not hew too closely to mere geographical parameters.
Rather than an outright duel between fact and fiction, Dion demonstrates that the judgment more at stake has always been between truth and value and how we balance the two.
Though her first East Coast solo exhibition is formally promoted as featuring three of her recent photographic series that explore the complexities of national identities and memories in former USSR territories, the brilliance of photographer Mila Teshaieva's show lies not in the expansive and consciously composed photographs alone but in their total installation.
Though Brooklyn-based artist Christopher Knowles is renowned for his mathematical, oftentimes compulsive, use of language, his large retrospective show Christopher Knowles: In a Word is a revelation of how equally intense and curious he is throughout the breadth of his artmaking.
When you enter The Sun Teaches Us That History Is Not Everything, one of the first works you might overlook amongst the other more colorful installations is a large suspended orb slowly spinning in the center of the room.
- Ai Weiwei: Cao / Humanity by Vivian Li
- Imagined Communities: Photographs by Mila Teshaieva by Vivian Li
- Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now by Vivian Li
- CHRISTOPHER KNOWLES: In a Word by Vivian Li
- MARK DION: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist by Vivian Li
- The Sun Teaches Us That History Is Not Everything by Vivian Li