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Neuberger Museum puts public spin on once private diary
Oscar Muñoz, "Editor Solitario," 2011, VideoProjection on Table, Courtesy of the Artist and Sicardi Gallery.
PURCHASE, NY.- With the advent of social networking and mobile communications, the diary has evolved from private medium to a forum for public consideration and collaborative thought, where the personal becomes a platform for social interaction, reflection, and activism. A new exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art addresses private versus public space, how we connect and interact as the personal and private are merged with the public.

Dear Diary: Update All, is on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from January 4 through March 16, 2014. The exhibition of twenty international artists and thirty artworks explores how artists express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction. The mixed media exhibition presents work that uses online data, remembrance, handiwork, genetics, gaming, and Google to mark the discord, beauty and banality that occur each day.

According to Jacqueline Shilkoff, the Museum's Curator of New Media, Dear Diary is “an exciting forum for ideas and interaction.” Adding another dimension to the show, students from Purchase College, SUNY are on site during Museum hours to engage in conversation with visitors about the exhibition as well as help them navigate the show and interact with the artwork. “The artists express an astounding range of poetic philosophical expressions,” Shilkoff adds.

Among the artworks in the exhibition is the installation A Charge for Privacy (2013), an electronic phone charging station created by Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, and Ramon Branger. The work is intuitive, featuring the familiar routine of charging a phone battery and offering viewers to charge their phones. The artists, however, introduce a barrier: an agreement to the terms of use for this charging station. From this entry point, our digital history stored in our phones creates voluntary (and involuntary) representations of ourselves.

Another piece, Editor Solitario (2011) by Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz, focuses on the interrelation of images and memory, exploring the ephemeral and vulnerable nature of human life. It is a black-and-white projection onto a table depicting photographs: formal portraits and family snapshots, celebrity photos, painters’ self-portraits, postmortem photos, and police sketches. An unseen subject extends an arm to place photographs on the table, removing some, exchanging others, pausing, covering, and quickly removing them. Muñoz combines personal and cultural histories, merging found images of the living with found images of the dead in an ambiguous narrative of individual and national memory, loss and hope.

Other artists and collaborators in the exhibition include: Kannan Arunasalam, Chloë Bass, Victor Castro, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, Chris Collins, Eric Eberhardt, Zach Gage, Mark McKenna, Amanullah Mojadidi, Molleindustria, Laura Splan, Aalam Wassef, YoHa with Matthew Fuller.






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