2022 Cornell Biennial invitational commissions

September 15, 2022 – September 17, 2022
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

114 Central Ave
Ithaca, NY

Sara Jimenez, At what point does the world unfold?

Sara Jimenez, At what point does the world unfold?

40 artists at Cornell (Ithaca), Cornell Tech (NYC), and The Cherry Arts (Ithaca) with invitational commissions in September 2022.

Sponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts and curated by Timothy Murray, the 2022 Cornell Biennial celebrates “Futurities, Uncertain” with commissions by Mendi & Keith Obadike, Sara Jimenez, and Xu Bing, with September 15–17 plenaries and performances by the Obadikes and Paul Vanouse.

Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments of “Futurities, Uncertain,” the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic models, colonial visions, and socio-cultural sameness. How might artistic imaginaries stage the potential of multiple futurities, thus rendering uncertain the confidence of the colonial past and the multinational present? Inspired by global artistic responses to technological and biopolitical hegemony, artistic futurities imagine cultural transformation in its plenitude.

The 2022 Cornell Biennial catalogue and schedule of events, including workshops and plenaries during September 15–17, is available at cca.cornell.edu/biennial.

Plenary performances
Mendi and Keith Obadike (US), Difference Tones (2022), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Façade, September 16 & 17, 9pm. Plenary outdoor sound and light performance. Meditation on the idea of a new thing being produced by an acoustic or conceptual friction.

Paul Vanouse (US), America Project (2016-2022), Milstein Hall, September 17, 4:30pm. A biological art performance installation centered around “DNA fingerprinting,” in which Vanouse stages scientific biopower to unsettle the conduit for sovereignty.

Wendy S. Walters (US), To Rent or Own: On Benefits Absolute and Vulgar, A.D. White House, September 22, 5pm.

Invitational commissions
Sara Jimenez (US/Canada), At what point does the world unfold? (2022), Cornell University Arts Quad, September 16-October 27. Outdoor fabric installation. Referencing the phenomenological and racial relationship between bodies and their surroundings, Jimenez abstracts and fabricates the main elements of Goldwin Smith Hall’s Beaux Arts architecture and its historical referents. The installation crosses the Arts Quad, tied to trees and rooted into the ground, while calling into question the histories and spaces prior to the institution, as well as how spaces welcome certain bodies while excluding others.

Mendi and Keith Obadike (US), Harmonies (2022), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, September 16-October 31. Polished steel sculpture, 30’x10”, emitting harmonic sounds of wind. From Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (1892), the phrase, “The Triumphant Harmonies of the Next,” references an argument normalizing the higher education of women in which she calls for a new time as a marker of new politics. Harmonies invites the listener to contemplate the future while looking to the horizon.

Xu Bing (China), Background Story (2022), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, September 30-December 4. Recycled light box landscape. Light box shadow image based on a Ming dynasty landscape painting by Yan Xun from the Johnson Museum’s collection. Combines natural tree branches and leaves with recycled man-made materials of torn paper, plastic bags, and bubble wrap to convey modern society’s destructive disregard for the natural world.

Invitational artists
Camel Collective (US/Mexico), Cindy Ng Sio Leng (Taiwan), Patricia Domínguez (Chile), Jade Doskow (US), Patricia Encarnación (Dominican Republic), Ken Feingold (US), Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind (Palestine/Denmark), Karrabing Film Collective (Australia), Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho (South Korea), Greg Stuart (US), Tacet(i) Ensemble (Thailand), Jenifer Wightman (US), Zhang Huan (China).

Mellon Public Curatorial Expression artists
Agnes Woodward (Canada), Dr. Tameka Ellington (US), Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (Ghana), Sylvia Hernandez (US), Gustavo Nazareno (Brazil), Kate Sekules (US), Oupa Sibeko (South Africa), Social Justice Sewing Academy (US).

Cornell artists
Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz, Jennifer Birkeland & Jonathan A. Scelsa, Austin Bunn & Jeffrey Palmer, Kellen Cooks, Matthew Dallos, Gina Goico, Denise Nicole Green, Felix Heisel, Esther Kondo Heller, Giselle Hobbs, Matéa LeBeau & Isabella Culotta, Leslie Lok, Joanna Malinowska & C.T. Jasper, So-Yeon Yoon.

The Cherry Arts artists
Monica Franciscus, Leo Kang, Blažo Kovačević, Grace Sachi Troxell, Van Tran Nguyen, Muhammad Zaman.