’93 Forever

 

Illustration by Coco Fusco.

In 1993, Sonic Youth recorded one of their most influential albums, usually referred to by its shortened title: Experimental Jet Set. A blending of the punk and college music genres that came before it, it was propulsive, irreverent, and nihilistic. Parts of it would be influential for decades, and parts of it were experiments that didn’t bear repeating.

New York’s The New Museum chose the album’s full title, Experiment Jet Set, Trash and No Star, as the title for an exhibition of work of the NYC art scene from that year, 1993, which is on view through May 26. The exhibition brings together artists who were dominating the scene at that time, and others whose careers were just beginning.

Among the artists featured in the exhibition is Coco Fusco, Director of Intermedia Initiatives at Parsons The New School for Design.

She is represented in the show in her piece The Undiscovered Amerindians, a series of ten etchings that reference the 1993 performance The Year of the White Bear and Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West (1992–1994), done in collaboration with Guillermo Gomez-Peña. For that piece, documented in the film The Couple in the Cage, Fusco and Gomez-Pena put themselves on display in a small cage, claiming to be natives from an island untouched by European influence. They dressed in parody of “native” concepts – grass skirts and leopard skin,  among other things – and explored colonialism and multi-culturalism. The work will be on display at The New Museum alongside others from artists like Nan Godlin, Todd Haynes, Annie Leibovitz, and Cindy Sherman.