MARCH 3 – MARCH 23, 2012

I am not against the sacred, as much as I am not against dragons or unicorns.
I just have this simple Abrahamic need to unmask the addictive innocence of mankind.
– Mookie Tenembaum
White Box is proud to announce the first comprehensive NY survey of Mookie Tenembaum, part 1, (b. 1955, Argentina), curated by independent curator Luis Campos.
Mookie Tenembaum was born in Argentina in 1955. He is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist. He attended Law School at the He- brew University of Jerusalem, and specialized in Anthropology at Temple University of Philadelphia. As a lawyer, he was also district attorney of the city of Jerusalem. During the 90s he decided that some of his ideas could only be created and developed through art, especially art related to new technologies. Therefore, during the past years, Mookie has concentrated specifically on reflecting on the different problems related to the State by means of creating new-media works.
An expert on the Internet and new technologies, Mookie is a member of FiRE (Future in Review) an annual event that gathers one hundred people from all over the world to discuss the likely penetration of the latest technological innovations and their impact on a not so far away future. He also founded United Virtualities, a company of on-line systems, and created over twenty on-line technolo- gies, such as Ooqa Ooqa (Explorer’s enhanced native toolbar), Schvitzer (an intelligent text highlighter), and Yachne (a 3D animated messenger).
The work of the artist Mookie Tenembaum, is abstract, conceptual, eclectic, ruptured, and biopolitical. His work encompasses photog- raphy, video, sculpture, object design, and performance, and he dares to take on any subject.
Abstract art is intended to unlock or bring to light the subconscious mind. Eclecticism, refers to an open mind, without limits, to take the best from anything. Both describe the work of Tenembaum. Conceptual art: a form of expression that tries to avoid optical stimulus in favor of intellectual processes in which the public is invited to share a thought with the artist. This notion does not define Tenembaum at all. Many of his works, in a tangential way, border conceptual matters; only by approximation.
Tenembaum’s art is difficult for many due to its excessive verbal rhetoric. People do not like going to galleries and reading explana- tions. This does not happen with Tenembaum: reflection plays an important role in his productions, but his work is what you see, and there is no text other than visuality.
While the modern artist maintains a human relationship with the work and the viewer, the postmodern one dehumanizes himself; he sells himself completely; he prostitutes himself in his integrity or is absolutely absorbed by the system he says he questions, which is the same concept. The more anti-system the postmodern artist thinks he is, the more he strengthens those structures that applaud him, reward him, and pay for his attacks, creating a false sense of engaging in self-criticism. Since post-modernity is dead, is, by chance, someone called Tenembaum the way out of postcrisis contemporary art? Thus, the bio-political activation of Tenembaum’s art becomes his most frightening facet because, in the name of art, everything can or must happen. He acts critically and cynically at the same time, as the same staging, with all its frontal criticism and all the debate it proposes, is the sum of artistic profitability itself; art can never cross the barrier of its symbolic niche and bring to the scene the shadow of the desperation of its own impossibility. Contemporary art is and will continue to be the sole survivor of the crisis. The same is said of roaches. In both cases, it is possible – and deplorable – that it may be so. Perhaps, in contemporary art, there is space left for true aesthetic rupture and accurate criticism of the established, activities always encircled by the tension produced by the risk of feeding back the beast that is fought: the addictive innocence of mankind.
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