Just a month before The Armory Show is set to green light on March 7th, it announced the galleries and artists that will represent its 2019 Platform segment of the fair. Platform is a specially curated part of The Armory Show that features large-scale artworks and installations spanning Piers 92 and 94. This year, the segment is curated by Sally Tallant, the recently appointed director of the Queens Museum, and is titled ‘Worlds of Tomorrow.’ The press release disclosed that works by Andreas Angelidakis, Siah Armajani, Tania Candiani, Ryan Gander, Iris Häussler, Xaviera Simmons, Jessica Stockholder, Super Taus, and Pascale Marthine Tayou will grace the piers during the three-day-long fair.
These artists’ works centre on hope and resilience at a time when everything seems to be in a state of flux and discord. That’s why Tallant harked back to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, which went by the same name as the upcoming exhibition. Then, in the time quickly leading to World War II, ‘Worlds of Tomorrow’ was responding to similar sentiments revolving around geopolitical turmoil. The 1939 World’s Fair set out to give hope for the future, to look forward to better times, potentially as an escape from the present but also to encourage perseverance. Through performance works, collective activism, and collaboration, the artists and galleries represented in Tallant’s rendition of ‘World of Tomorrow’, artists offer respite from the world of today and offer hope for a better tomorrow.
Tallant emphasized this point in her remarks in The Armory Show’s press release saying:
‘Today, we are living in dark times: borders are closing; there is a growing refugee crisis; identity, internationalism and citizenship are in turmoil […] Environmental challenges and the oppression of minorities in a society of pervasive gender inequality define this moment. We cannot let these uncertainties paralyze us, we must find a way to gain perspective and develop ways of seeing that allow us to build new hope. It is through art that we express our hopes and fears, and articulate alternatives and new possible worlds. Artists often speak out for the rights of people on the margins of society and now that we are facing a shift in how those people and margins are defined, we need artists to continue to be brave.’
The press release goes on to best detail ways in which the nine artists and galleries will contribute to the exhibition stating:
‘Xaviera Simmons deploys photographic and sculptural works to explore the systems that have rendered invisible major aspects of the American narrative. Both Tania Candiani and Super Taus use objects and performance to offer critiques of cultural stereotypes and to explore personal and national identity. Ryan Gander employs comic reinvention to re-visualize a modernist sculpture; Andreas Angelidakis challenges the market through the redistribution of school supplies in a “donation drive”, and Siah Armajani responds thoughtfully to the current migrant crises with radical hospitality in the form of seven rooms. Environmental issues of ecology and waste are brought into sharp focus by Pascale Martine Tayou through a spectacular work comprised of multi-colored plastic bags. Iris Häussler re-presents a body of work that blurs the line between fact and fiction, challenging historical reinvention, while Jessica Stockholder combines symbiotic objects that require support from, and are dependent on other objects, to demonstrate the need for collaboration and collective action.’