The 46th Biennial Exhibition: Media/Metaphor
Shimon Attie, Victor Burgin, Y. David Chung, Chuck Close, Sharon Daniel, Nan Goldin, Gary Hill, Vik Muniz, David Reed, Michal Rovner, Ben Sakoguchi, Lorna Simpson, Jennifer Steinkamp and Jimmy Johnson, and Lisa Yuskavage.
Everything, it seems, is traveling at the speed of light. Information comes from anywhere at any time. We are connected together and kept apart—both physically and metaphorically—in ways that were never dreamed of fifty years ago. In our culture we are in the midst of a shift in how we view the world. We are moving away from the land, where tiny changes are charged with meaning, to work and live in wired communities where change is taken for granted. Our icons are evolving, their foundations transformed, mediated by new technologies that bring with them new insights. In the hands of artists, these tools can serve as mirrors, allowing us to see ourselves in new ways. Their work helps illuminate the memories and stories that bind the past and present.
Media/Metaphor features new experiments by fifteen artists who live and work in the United States. Each confronts artistic traditions in a variety of ways, creating new models that extend the meaning of painting, photography, and photo-based media such as video, computers, and the Internet. They use these tools interchangeably and change, in some ways, has become their new medium.
From its inception almost one hundred years ago, the Corcoran’s Biennial Exhibitions have presented contemporary American painting, examining one expressive medium as it evolved through a century of explosive scientific, technological, and cultural growth. Now, at the dawn of a new era, the themes of the Biennial have been redrawn to confront these traditions through the art of our time. We have broadened the scope beyond painting to focus on the complex relationships between painting and new media, and the hybrid forms created by their combination.
How do the fundamental changes in how we live and communicate affect our perceptions, our relationships, and our actions? What roles do technology—and the new connectivity it allows—play in refocusing and reshaping our images? Media/Metaphor is designed to ask these questions.