In May 2023, I visited the Whitney Museum of Art member's night. The art museum will hold a preview event of a new special exhibition for the members in the form of a party until late at night. Many people enjoy drinking cocktails and celebrating the start of the production pleasantly. The new exhibition was a cool project that exceeded expectations, and I was grateful to the Whitney Museum.
Josh Kline (b. 1979, living and working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New York, New York) is one of the leading artists of his generation. Kline is best known for using video, sculpture, photography, and design to produce immersive installations asking how technology emerging in the 21st century changes human life. Still, it was the first time to see the artist's work in person. Josh Kline: Project for a New American Century is the first American Museum of Art exhibition of the artist's work. Kline often targets himself again, leveraging technologies, practices, and formats he has scrutinized, including digitization, data collection, image manipulation, 3D printing, commercial and political advertising, and productivity-enhancing materials. Some of his best-known videos use early deepfake software to pursue the meaning of truth in the era of exhaustion propaganda. At its core, Kline's visionary practices focused on work and class, exploring how today's most pressing social and political issues, such as climate change, automation, disease, and weakening democracy, affect those who make up the workforce. The exhibition showcases over a decade of the artist's work, including new installations and video work dealing with the climate crisis. First presented in Whitney, these new science fiction works approached a hotter and more dangerous future on the horizon from the perspective of essential workers who inevitably had to pick up the pieces. In an era defined as an escalating crisis, Kline's work provides visceral warnings and calls for a more humane future.
It's hard to explain in words. If you don't see it in person, you may think it's typical contemporary installation art. Still, I just fell into the work and appreciated it with an unexpected visual effect and reconstruction of meaning. I was more impressed than expected by the scale that it was hard to believe that all large-scale exhibitions containing such American content were made on the same theme. I hope you watch this exhibition through video. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for the support of the Whitney Museum of Art, which has boosted the artist's ability to the fullest, and for the planning of the curator.
The exhibition was organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Whitney's former Nancy and Fred Poses curator and current chief artistic director of the Horizon Art Foundation, with McClain Groff, the curator project assistant.