“The Little Things Could Be Dearer” at PS1 MoMA, 26 Oct 2014 – 6 Apr 2015


Image Courtesy of the artist; BQ, Berlin; Team Gallery

Taking as its subject communication and embodiment in a “networked” age, “The Little Things Could Be Dearer” questions individuality and communion. The show presents diverse practices ranging from Ulrike Müller’s woven abstractions, to Melanie Gilligan’s interactive televised installation. Employing distinct references to and engagements with the body, the mechanisms by which these artists address the topic differ quite radically. Michael E. Smith’s solitary, suspenseful and uncanny found sculptural assemblage activates an interaction between the space and the viewer, while Carina Brandes’ photographs are primarily engaged in discourse surrounding the mass-mediated image of the female artist.

Each artist is designated their own individual room. This multiplicity of vision, practice, and experience is a nod to theories about the organization of contemporary life in a globalized world that is heavily infiltrated by communication technologies. While it could be argued that the show’s emphasis on embodiment is a sentiment expressing an anxiety about being “plugged-in,” there is also a sense that the show is attempting to address contemporary artistic practice that does not need to present itself through the net in order to be in dialog with present-day experience.

Overall, the show manages to effectively describe both what a networked culture is and what forms art produced within it take.

-Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant

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