Post image for The Spiritual Failure of Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable”

Is there a secret, intertwined history that ties together mass media, spiritualist con artists, pulp fiction and the unreliability of the image? Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable” would like you to think so. The multimedia artist’s latest work (on at MoMA through January 8th, 2017) is a 90-minute immersive video experience that attempts to draw connections between all of those topics as well as his own familial autobiography and other threads that relate to his collection of spiritualist memorabilia. Unfortunately, when the work seems to come close to solidifying a thematic relationship between the various subjects on its mind, it tends to feel a bit like a magician clumsily employing misdirection. The audience sees a hat, a beautiful assistant and a rabbit up the sleeve, but no magic.

Post image for Hoarding For History: “The Keeper” At The New Museum

I wonder what the crew of A&E’s guilty pleasure Hoarders would say about the New Museum’s recently opened exhibition The Keeper. With four floors of artists’ obsessions, the collecting impulse on view is more manic and compulsive than merely an academic archival interest. In fact, the exhibition looks a lot like the aftermath of a Hoarders Anonymous meeting.

Before attending the group exhibition, I expected the show might too easily and predictably engage with the current archival trend in contemporary art. I’m so glad I was wrong–I wasn’t looking forward to donning white gloves to paw through precisely organized archival boxes.

Post image for We Went to Artscape: Weird Futures on Saratoga Street

Do you believe the children are the future? What about their future pasts? At Maryland Art Place we checked in on Young Blood, a survey of recent area MFA grads, including DIY Star Trek and paintings corrupted like future JPEGs. Upstairs at Terrault Contemporary, Kaita Niwa time travels with the magic of CGI and a creepy child avatar.

Post image for Paradise Interrupted: An Interview with Jennifer Wen Ma and Guillermo Acevedo

In the words of composer Huang Ruo, “The installation opera Paradise Interrupted integrates opera, theater, dance, music, poetry, made-up words, interactive multimedia, and cross-cultural operatic spirits, all into one entity.”

Sound ambitious? It is. This stunning opera combines more media than I’ve ever seen in one work of contemporary art, while gracefully navigating Chinese-English translation.

For this reason, I wanted to talk with the artist mastermind, Jennifer Wen Ma, Director and Visual Designer of Paradise Interrupted, which kicked off Lincoln Center Festival.

Post image for Say Yes To Death With Rachel Stern At Black & White Gallery/Project Space

Why does the division between life and death always seem narrower in the American South? Maybe it’s the prevalence of ghost stories or just the spooky imagery of Spanish moss hanging from a live oak tree.

Rachel Stern delves into this tenuous Southern boundary between life and death in her current solo exhibition Yes, Death at Black & White Gallery/Project Space. And what could be more emblematic of the transition into the afterlife than cemeteries?