Trigger Warning: Upcoming Art Exhibit Explores Gender and Sexuality

A yin and yang illustration of the male and female genders.

Image credit: Shutterstock

The New Museum of New York expects controversy around its upcoming exhibition “Trigger: Gender and a Tool and a Weapon.” That’s part of the point–for the show to set jaws wagging for its run and then some. With more than 40 artists involved in the show, there’s sure to be a flurry of artistic conversations inside the exhibit itself.

Curated by the New Museum’s director and curator of education and public engagement Johanna Burton, the group show will be spread across three floors, more than half of the museum.

“I started thinking about a show to take up questions that focus on gender…” said Burton in an interview with Art News. “A number of the best artists working right now are taking up gender as a way of re-configuring how we make meaning of it and what kind of vocabulary we use. I think of it as a show that is wanting to really engage questions that feel both very urgent and very present in the context of today.”

The works in the exhibition, which will open in September, is all very much in the context of today. It’s all new or nearly new, from artists who’ve risen up in today’s artistic-political climate. But it’s also fitting in the context of the museum’s 40 year history. The New Museum’s first gender and sexuality-focused show was in 1982, when discussion of the topic was much more taboo and extreme.

“Trigger” adds to that conversation, while making certain to include the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and ability that make all discourse such a heated, tangled topic.

“It’s a tough moment for productive discourse around identity,” said Burton. “A trigger is a mechanism that, with a little bit of force, sets off a huge amount of potential reactions, both for better and for worse.”

“Trigger” will be opening September 27th at the New Museum and will run through January 2018.


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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