Whenever the end of year draws near, news sites feel the need to do the obligatory “top ten (insert_movies/songs/fashion faux pas/etc_here) of 2010″ or a montage of clips that sum up “the year that was”*. Not only are we 14 days away from 2011 but we’re also 14 days away from a new decade, which means that said sites are rife with not only an annual wrap up, but also a culmination of ten years worth of moments. Good and bad. I mean sure, it’s nice to indulge a little and remember the way we were (wore?), but really, these top-tenners of who we watched, what we wore, where we ate, what we listened too is really just a piece of fluff. At least GoMA have wrapped up the decade by putting together an exhibition with some substance.
21st Century: Art In The First Decade explores art from the noughties. “Over the past decade, technological, political and environmental issues have had direct global effects reflected in contemporary art. This exhibition examines current directions in art practice and also the conditions for art and exhibition making in the 21st century”. A recurring theme of the exhibition is interaction. It used to be that galleries were a pristine, almost fragile environment, one that was met with silence and civility. But Dylan was right when he said the times, they are a-changing. With GoMA’s new exhibition, visitors can view YouTube clips, use touchscreen technology, ride a slippery slide (adults included). This change in artistic practice mirrors society’s global reach and reciprocity though technology. It’s about engaging the public and creating an interface between artist and voyeur. And if there’s anything to learn from the last decade, from this exhibition or from Facebook or from Apple, it’s to know you’re never alone.
* It seems important with these lists to insert as many clichés as possible in the copy too.