Ydessa Hendeles, Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002. Photo: Robert Keziere.
Ydessa Hendeles, Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002. Photo: Robert Keziere.

“The Keeper”
New Museum
235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
July 20 – Sept 25

The New Museum will have a multi-floor exhibition, “The Keeper”, showcasing the act of preserving and collecting artworks, objects, and images. The exhibition will contain a wide variety of imaginary museums, personal collections, and unusual assemblages as a reflection of salvaged precious and valueless objects. “The Keeper” narrates individuals lives of struggle and experience through the objects they chose to safeguard, showing how deeply embedded personal significance can motivate preservation efforts and elevate both great and mundane objects to a higher meaning. As a response to the iconoclastic acts occurring in current events, the exhibition shows endangered images and objects that have escaped destruction alongside the existential adventures of individuals driven by these acts.

The centerpiece of this exhibition will be Partners, The Teddy Bear Project (shown above), by Ydessa Hendeles. Composed of over 3,000 family-album photographs of people posing with teddy bears, and vitrines containing antique teddy bears. The teddy bear serves as a symbol for the entire exhibition showing the symbiotic relationship of people and their objects of affection. As well as being a metaphor for the consoling power of artworks and images.

The exhibition’s work will also serve as evidence of historical trauma and dramatic events, representing the act of preserving as a resolution to bear witness and to remember. Secret efforts that are often taken to save these objects are prove the power of images to heal and comfort, especially because they can be hazardous.

“The Keeper” is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director; Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator; Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator; and Margot Norton, Associate Curator.



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