Asia Society Triennial: 2020-2021, We Do Not Dream Alone

“Inspired by a line in Yoko Ono’s 1964 publication, Grapefruit–“A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality”–the title of the Triennial, “We Do Not Dream Alone”, attests to the power of art to resist our urge to silo during these uncertain times. Grapefruit, now considered a masterpiece of conceptual art, contains a series of what Ono calls “event scores” that provide instructions for simple, even daily actions that the reader might enact as a way of life. These suggest the possible efficacy of micro-actions and human agency, which is of particular resonance now, when governments and public institutions seem to fail us.

This inaugural Triennial, which encompasses visual art, theater, dance, music, and film, takes place in a nation-state on the eve of a presidential election, when its citizens will go to the ballot boxes to choose which dream of America will take hold. Leaping across geography and history, the artistic projects in this Triennial resist the condition of dreaming alone by unveiling the way that people, objects, and events cross time and space are linked through a complex web of relationships. The objects and processes of contemporary art micr0-acts of world building, creating micro-worlds of meaning and relations that reveal the border-crossing nature of our modern existence, despite the current barriers drawn in the sand. ”