"The New International" at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

group exhibition

The New International August 1 – September 21 2014

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Johan Grimonprez, IRWIN, Paul Khera, Makiko Kudo, Goshka Macuga, Shirin Neshat, Santiago Sierra, Danh Vō, and a project about Alexander Brener with the involvement of Michael Benson, Kazimir Malevich, Judith Schoneveld, Alexander Sokolov, Olga Stolpovskaya, Dmitry Troitsky, Harmen Verbrugge, Kamiel Verschuren, and others.

Curated by Kate Fowle, Garage Chief Curator

The New International is the latest in a series of projects at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art to focus on the 1990s as a significant turning point in contemporary art practices around the world. Navigating the prevailing discourses after 1989, including the end of the Cold War, the social impact of late capitalism, and an escalating fear of terrorism, the exhibition draws on two generations of artists—those who rose to international attention and those who came of age during the decade.

The artists’ experiences span divergent geographies, and their practices resist national or mono-cultural categories. Instead, they juxtapose plural temporalities and perceptions in order to engage audiences visually, physically, and psychologically in nuanced worldviews. Exploring how new approaches in art challenged dominant perspectives on issues such as identity politics, the U.S. War on Culture, and the former East-West divide, each artist presented in The New International has developed a singular approach to making work that lays the foundation for a new understanding of what the concept of “international” can mean. Recognizing the term as one that is frequently used as interchangeable with “foreign,” as well as one that now implies understanding the self in relation to a bigger viewpoint as opposed to a unilateral nationalism, the new internationalism slows down the onset of a fully-globalized world. In other words, it is a way to describe how individuals share, understand, or experience context-specific situations without universalizing the outcomes.

In art world terms, the potential for a new concept of the international started to form in the 1990s with the expansion of biennials around the globe, expanding art centers, and the increased movement—through communication and travel—afforded to artists and curators. Responding to the larger social and political contexts in which this emerging cultural space was being created, the artists who constitute a new international perspective make fresh connections between events, actions, and ideologies. Fusing activist and aesthetic languages, they favor discourse over polemics, creating works that contribute subtle nuances to topics such as gender, nationalism, class, economics, capital, the media, and institutional critique.

To coincide with The New International, a reader will be published that charts the defining events through which an international dialog emerged from, and with, practitioners in Moscow.