Art in 2021 that Engaged the Senses – ARTnews.com

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A confession hidden behind the wall of the gallery. Withered white tree forest. A public ritual of mourning illuminated by candlelight. In 2021, the artist transcended the traditional museum presentations and worked on all the sensations. Visitors to exhibitions around the world were invited to not only see the paintings, but also to experience and in some cases play with art. The scent that has passed afflicts the filled gallery space, a ghost of the past or a precursor to the future. See below for some outstanding works that have inspired our senses.

Anika Yi’s In love with the world For the 2021 Turbine Hall Commission at Tate Modern in London.
Photo via AP WIktorSzymanowicz / NurPhoto

Anika Yi, In love with the world

Over the last decade, conceptual artist Anikay has filled the gallery with space-dwelling biologics that are as memorable as any tangible work of art, with the sense of smell in the foreground with several installations. Or, as she explains, “sculpting the air.” This year she turned an industrial turbine hall in London’s Tate Modern into her own Petri dish. In the solo presentation, giant jellyfish-like creatures, “aerobic organisms,” or what she calls “biological machines,” floated above the crowd. From time to time, the drones were drawn to their heat and descended towards the visitor. Every week, a new scent profile was released in the hall. Some of them, like the smell of bubonic plague, caused extreme inequality in the duration of the illness and the history of the city.

Nadine Robinson, Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008.

Nadine Robinson, Coronation theme: Organon, 2008.
Images and works courtesy of artist and VMFA

“Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and Sonic Impulse” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

This summer, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond unveiled a supercharged showcase hosted by the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art, Valerie Cassel Oliver. Especially at the exhibition, which includes the works of 120 artists, American South One was the work of New Orleans-based artist Richard Fiend Jones. Taking the 1990 Cadillac Brougham de Elegance, he decorated it with art objects, including a fast-growing stereo system and custom Virginia license plates. DRTYSTH.. Elsewhere, an acoustic sculpture by Nadine Robinson, consisting of 30 speakers stacked in the shape of a church organ, plays an audio collage of barking dogs and prayers. Rich in religion, hip-hop and politics, it shows the fulfillment of black life in the United States.

Naama Tsabar, Perimeter

At her latest show, now on display at The Bus in Miami, Naama Tsavar transformed the museum with site-specific work that spans sculpture, performance and architecture. The sound and touch influenced the experience as the gallery itself became a playable instrument.In the first piece, the viewer was invited to pick the strings Specific damage melody (2021), scattered with broken guitar fragments that Tsabar re-tensioned with piano and guitar wires. In the adjoining room, the audience was able to sing, shout, and whisper into the harmless holes in the wall, including the string elements and motion sensors. The overall effect is a symphony of songs and beatings performed by strangers.

When a woman is watching, a man touches a tree in a park or forest.

Maya Lin, Ghost forest (2021) In New York.
Anthony Behar / Sipa USA via AP Image

Maya Lin, Ghost forest

From May to November, a haunted forest of white cedar trees in the Atlantic Ocean stood in the bright green of the Madison Square Park greenhouse in Midtown Manhattan. Activist Maya Lin, whose artistic activities revolve around environmental vulnerabilities, brought the recovered orchards to the city as a story of climate warning. Trees were once common on the East Coast, but their population has declined dramatically due to logging practices, storms, and unprecedented wildfires. Passersby could touch the sterile bark and hear the soundscape created by Lynn to honor the native species that were once abundant on the island.

Three black performers play behind the gate in front of the graffiti on a street with a green bike lane

Kevin Beasley, Sound of mourning, Performa2021 Biennale Committee. Photos from left to right: Angie Pittman, Raymond Focus, Paul Hamilton.
Photo Walter Waldarczyk / Provided by: Artist and Performa

Kevin Beasley, Sound of mourning

At the intersection of Orchard Street and Livington Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there was a small crowd waiting for the Kevin Beasley committee of this year’s Performer Biennale to start, but it’s hard to tell what the work will look like. did not. It is one of the busiest intersections in downtown. Sirens screamed somewhere in the distance, and bicycles and pedestrians pushed a large crowd away. Some people were caught up in the air of expectation and were looking through the window of the restaurant. Then a group of young black women and men equipped with body microphones set foot at the intersection and spread out in its four corners. They vaguely interacted with what they found and prepared, chopped newspapers, crushed paper bags, and dragged metal cans across the asphalt. Beasley, who worked at a nearby DJ booth, mixed the noise and aired along the street. The texture of the scene was amplified to an unpleasant level. The pop-out of the chapstick cap broke overhead like a gunshot. All the while, the phones were trained with performers to monitor all their harmless movements.

Candy Chan and James A. Reeves, After the end

Process After the end, Participatory rituals at the historic chapel at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn were simple but influential. Think of the loss. Next, I’ll explain what you can tolerate. Paper and pen were provided. After the visitors recorded their thoughts, they were invited to put a piece of paper on the illuminated alter. You can then sit in the apse of the chapel and hear the calm surroundings piped into the room in the soft heat of the candlelight. Messages drawn from anonymous submissions were projected onto the ceiling, revealing all forms of loss experienced this year. Read one, “Grief changed who I am.” Together, it was a graceful empathy of isolation.

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