On July 20th, 2016, The New Museum of Contemporary Art opened “The Keeper” to the public, a multi floor exhibition dedicated to the act of preserving and collecting objects, artworks, and images
Before the official opening, however, I was luckily enough to preview the exhibit and hear a few remarks from Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni, who described the collection as being “about individuals who have carried out unreasonable acts of iconophilia.” Unreasonable, perhaps, but beautiful nonetheless, like Ydessa Hendele’s Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002, an installation of 3,000 family album photographs featuring teddy bears with their owners.
Another favorite of mine was the collection by Shinro Ohtake, which blended the brightness of pop culture with the relatively antiquated hobby of scrapbooking.
Collections were not merely limited to things, of course, one of the most intriguing displays was A Sixty-Three Year Photo Biography of Ye Jinglu, which featured a man whose many pictures show both the relationship between artist, subject, and curator, as well as history of photographic style.
Through the collections mentioned above -- as well as the many others -- visitors to “The Keeper” exhibit at The New Museum will find themselves pondering the question of what art is, and what it means to be an artist in today’s world. The exhibit is here until September 25th, so be sure to check it out