New artists and new promise in Guggenheim overview
It's exciting to walk into the Guggenheim's new contemporary South Asian exhibit "No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia." There's the glitter of silver, the sheen of gold, and the vibrant colors of a wall-to-wall mural: and there's the promise of a show full of that region's new artists, fresh to many of our American eyes.
After the first excitement fades you may ask yourself how, exactly, the Guggenheim selected its artists? Who picked the rather vapid spray of volcanic ash that takes up a whole wall in the last room? (Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo's Volcanic Ash Series #4). And who decided that the show absolutely needed something, anything to do with the War on Terror and neo-colonialism, and then ticked both those boxes with Norberto Roldan's F16, which juxtaposes an Afghan bombing with William McKinley's speech about colonizing the Philippines?