Doug Aitken: NEW ERA

An exhibition for our times
Museum of Contemporary Art
by
ABR Arts 04 November 2021

Doug Aitken: NEW ERA

An exhibition for our times
Museum of Contemporary Art
by
ABR Arts 04 November 2021
Doug Aitken, <em>migration (empire)</em>, 2008, installation view. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2021. (Courtesy the artist; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles © the artist)
Doug Aitken, migration (empire), 2008, installation view. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2021. (Courtesy the artist; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles © the artist)

This splendid exhibition is named for Doug Aitken’s three-channel video NEW ERA (2018), which revisits Martin Cooper, the elderly American inventor of the mobile telephone and his first call on the device in 1973. The video is set in a mirrored hexagonal room at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, its multiplying reflections fracturing and confounding place and time, wrapping around visitors. The work neatly encapsulates American artist Doug Aitken’s interests: how do humans and their technologies sit in the natural world? Importantly, how do we use these technologies to see the world we live in, to make it meaningful? The idea recurs throughout Aitken’s art and writings; it is manifested in the mirrors that incorporate us in his works.

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