It is fair to say that the world is not in great shape right now. And the latest, fourth, iteration of the New Museum
Triennial—which has the seductively punk title “Songs for Sabotage” and is co-curated by Alex Gartenfeld (of the ICA Miami
) and Gary Carrion-Murayari, along with Francesca Altamura—seeks to chart some of those fault lines, taking a self-consciously global look at how artists are reacting to the status quo.
It’s a politically inclined exhibition that explodes into a multiplicity of viewpoints, with artists hailing from Haiti, Peru, Russia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Algeria, China, and elsewhere. The works reflect on everything from austerity measures and trade in Greece to police-sponsored massacres in South Africa; despite being the focal point of our daily media diet, President Trump is almost entirely absent here, except perhaps as an extension of larger forces.
“In adopting the notion of sabotage as a model for artistic production,” Carrion-Murayari writes in his catalog essay, “this exhibition posits that what unites young artists is an understanding of the inescapability of global political and economic networks and a desire to respond with individual, localized gestures that work against the ruthless efficiency of these networks, even with little possibility of destroying them.”