The Queens Museum in New York has revealed the list of forty-three artists and collectives participating in its upcoming Queens International biennial, titled “Volumes,” which will open on October 7. Hailing from fifteen neighborhoods and representing several generations, the majority of the featured artists are women. The institution also launched the exhibition’s website, which will serve as an alternative way to experience the event.Established in 2002, the Queens International highlights the contemporary cultural production of communities in the borough. Organized by Sophia Marisa Lucas, assistant curator at the Queens Museum, and the New York–based performance artist Baseera Khan, this year’s edition will explore systems of knowledge production in the digital and analog realms. Taking inspiration from the historical emergence of the public library and its ability to confront cultural changes brought about by the internet, “Volumes” will focus on the role of artists as “professional non-specialists” who are able to encapsulate our everyday virtual lives.“Many artworks in the exhibition address the analog and digital, but they aren’t about nostalgia vs. the status quo,” Lucas said in a statement. “These artists propose analogues within those frameworks, they exacerbate or collapse those distinctions, and conjure opportunities for integration. There is a lot of possibility and speculation, but there is also a specter of pathos and futility. When I first introduced the exhibition in formation to Baseera last winter, she summed it up with this brilliant phrase: ‘cheerfully apocalyptic.’”
Designed by artist Ryan Kuo, who is known for addressing organizational hierarchies and information architecture in his works, the exhibition website will serve as a virtual 3-D model of the venue that is organized on a 2-D plane. The website is intended to serve simultaneously as an experiential tool and an extension of the ideas within the exhibition.
“Taking ‘Volumes’ as a cue, the website grid is composed of an HTML table that threatens (but usually fails, thanks to QI 2018’s actual voices and bodies) to visually tabulate the data within a universal hierarchy,” said Kuo. “The computer tirelessly garbles the text while cutups of the floor plans and animated flythroughs of the virtual galleries give form to truths, half-truths, and algorithmic untruths about the promises of a biennial.”
Additionally, for the first time, the Queens Museum is partnering with the Queens Library to present artworks in select library branches.