From now until April 10th, the New Museum will be running an all encompassing symphonic experience. Anri Sala’s Answer Me, has transformed the seemingly open and bright atmosphere of the New Museum into a large, dark and dense space of sound and experience, and the effect is profound.
The exhibit spans over three of the museum’s five public gallery floors, and highlights the sheer extent of Sala’s work in all mediums. It is perhaps the first floor of the exhibit (and subsequently the fourth floor of the museum) that is the most striking, for as you exit the lime green elevators of the New Museum, you are immediately thrust into an entirely new world of sound. It is Sala’s dual-video piece Ravel Ravel, (which debuted in his show for the French Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013) that surrounds you as the elevator doors shut behind you, and from that moment on you are entirely engulfed in the Anri Sala experience. The show continues on in a similar vain, with videos, sound experiments, and some works on paper, but rarely are you allowed to separate yourself from the beautiful sounds reverberating through the galleries.
It is not just the sheer extent of Sala’s work that is so impressive, it’s the clear progression of it, the credit of which should be given to the magnificent work of curator Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director; Margot Norton, Associate Curator; and Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator. While each of the pieces in Answer Me speaks for itself, it is together that they thrive. By presenting a comprehensive survey of Sala’s work, the show allows the viewer to begin to understand Sala’s own artistic journey, and greater intent.
Surprisingly Answer Me is Sala’s New York debut, though he has been a recognized internationally for years, New York is a new accomplishment on Salas growing list. The Albanian-born artist has spent many years creating an impressive portfolio of multichannel work which explores the relationship between music and society, sound and history, communication and memory, and everything in between.
Anri Sala: Answer Me will run from February 3rd to April 10th at the New Museum.
Image: Anri Sala, Unravel, 2013 (still). Single-channel HD video in color and discrete 4.0 surround sound installation; 20:45 min. © Anri Sala. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery; Hauser & Wirth; and kurimanzutto, Mexico City