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El-superaton, Time Exchange 148, 2008, in “The Ungovernables,” Feb. 2012, New Museum, New York
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"The Ungovernables"

by Jerry Saltz

“The Ungovernables,” the New Museum's building-filling triennial of artists born between 1973 and 1984, really ought to have been called “The Explanations.” It’s loaded with art that you need to read about so you can even grasp what it thinks it's dealing with. Nearly every artist’s work is joined by dense wall text full of buzzwords like "interstitial spaces" or syllogistic, nearly generic statements like "externalize . . . processes of . . . thinking." An artist's primary job is to infuse thought into material. (Let’s restrict public signage to important warnings, like "Beware of the Bears.") Yet at “The Ungovernables” -- as at more and more shows I visit -- I saw a lot more people standing and reading than actually trying to unpack the work.


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