The ubiquity of new technologies in daily life serves as a backdrop for the diverse positions presented within Heart of the Tin Man. Twelve artists, with unique understandings of the world and its forces, embrace alternative modes of creativity and unprecedented languages of expression that underline dramatic shifts occurring in the realm of human experience. Incorporating virtual reality, digital mechanics, and interactive installations predicated on the latest in scientific achievement, Heart of the Tin Man stimulates the senses of sight, smell, touch, and sound, drawing predominantly from the M WOODS Collection and the post-internet focus of co-founder Michael Xufu Huang.
Extending across the entirety of the museum, the exhibition allows for free association between artists and the themes they address: at once playful and dynamic, works from Ryan Gander, Institute for New Feeling, Liu Wa, and Yangzi invite audiences to explore a wealth of possibilities through combinations of meditation and wry humor; classical mediums of sculpture and painting are reinvented by Yngve Holen and Austin Lee; insidious implications of our hi-tech society are skewered by Lawrence Abu Hamdan and aaajiao; the powers of synthetic materials over human desire are brought to the fore by Sean Raspet and Pamela Rosenkranz; and products of Internet culture are given to refined study with Gillian Wearing and Amalia Ulman.
Through this presentation of recent acquisitions and selected loans, an inquiry is opened as to the place for feelings within what we perceive to be technological progress and development, evoking the struggle of Dorothy’s human-machine hybrid, the Tin Man. Curated by Michael Xufu Huang, Heart of the Tin Man is accompanied by texts written by Lauren Cornell, Director of the Graduate Program for Curatorial Studies at BARD College and Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum of Art, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, London.