Editor Solitario, (2011) by Oscar Muñoz

New show looks at how the diary became public

Neuberger Museum NY presents work that uses online data to mark the beauty and banality of day to day life

"The internet to this generation of writers as alcohol was to previous ones:" tweeted Phaidon author Alain de Botton, "anxiety suppressant, enemy of talent, challenge." For many this encapsulates the relationship between creative achievement and social networking. Yet for a few, could the daily repository of words and pictures serve as a valuable art project?

The curators of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York certainly hope so. The museum's current exhibition, Dear Diary: Update All, draws together the works of 20 international artists, with 30 works that explore how these exhibitors "express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction."


Negligee (Serotonin) (2009) by Laura Splan
Negligee (Serotonin) (2009) by Laura Splan

Sounds pretty broad, and indeed, the works by Kannan Arunasalam, Chloë Bass, Victor Castro, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, Chris Collins, Eric Eberhardt, Zach Gage, Mark McKenna, Amanullah Mojadidi, Molleindustria, Laura Splan, Aalam Wassef, YoHa with Matthew Fuller, all reach beyond simple status updates.

Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz contributes Editor Solitario, a tabletop video projection wherein a single selector places then removes photographic portraits, as if reshuffling memories. New York artist Laura Splan shows her Negligee (Serotonin), a nightie made from cosmetic facial peel, with the molecular structure of the serotonin neurotransmitter embroidered onto it. And the American artist, Chloe Bass, brings her Tea Will Be Served performance to the show, a performance piece wherein gallery goers are encouraged to pair off, sit at her wearable tea table, and exchange a series of scripted questions as they drink tea.



Sounds like a timely look at personal record keeping and the public interaction, in a time of open-access diary keeping. To find out more about the exhibition, which lasts until 16 March, go here. For more on what does and doesn't constitute art take a look at Defining Contemporary Art, which takes in 25 years of art history in 200 pivotal works and Wild Art which looks at art outside the gallery system.