Pawel Althamer: The Neighbors. First US museum exhibition.
Last week New Museum introduced New York to Pawel Althamer, an artist with a passion to peer into our humanity be it phenomenologically, biologically, creatively, or systemically.
Althamer is predominantly known for the figurative sculptures he creates of himself, his family, and various other individuals within his community. Beyond simple portraiture, these sculptures, in addition to the other activities he is involved in, highlight the complex social, political, and psychological networks in which he lives and operates.
One floor of this show has four films of the Artist in various states of consciousness, the one of him in a medical facility tripping on LSD is, well, trippy. A friend is asking him great questions, the kind you would dare to ask while you have someone in a lucid vulnerable state. Pawel admits to being a Shaman to other civilizations including humans, plants, animals, and wind.
Pawel must be a beautiful human being. The exhibition has many nuances of a person on a sincere quest—to discover as many linkages between self and other, and to unearth the misconception that the two are separate. The different floors of the show represent investigative approaches. Buskers will perform everyday, and piped throughout the museum. See it as a story unfolding, with the events being the birth of different levels of awareness.