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New York | ‘Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone’ at the New Museum

November 11, 2021 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Please join us for a curatorial welcome and self lead walkthrough of Soft Water Hard Stone, the fifth New Museum Triennial which brings together works across mediums by forty artists and collectives from around the world. The title of the exhibition is taken from a Brazilian proverb, versions of which are found across cultures: Água mole em pedra dura, tanto bate até que fura (Soft water on hard stone hits until it bores a hole).

The title speaks to ideas of resilience and perseverance, and the impact that an insistent yet discrete gesture can have in time. It also provides a metaphor for resistance, as water—a constantly flowing and transient material—is capable of eventually dissolving stone—a substance associated with permanence, but also composed of tiny particles that can collapse under pressure.

In this moment of profound change, where structures that were once thought to be stable are disintegrating or on the edge of collapse, the 2021 Triennial recognizes artists re-envisioning traditional models, materials, and techniques beyond established paradigms. Their works exalt states of transformation, calling attention to the malleability of structures, porous and unstable surfaces, and the fluid and adaptable potential of both technological and organic mediums.

Soft Water Hard Stone is curated by Margot Norton, Allen and Lola Goldring Curator at the New Museum, and Jamillah James, Senior Curator, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA), with Jeanette Bisschops, Curatorial Fellow, and Bernardo Mosqueira, ISLAA Curatorial Fellow.


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Proof of vaccination is required for museum entry.

In compliance with the Mayor's Emergency Executive Order 225 issued on August 16, 2021, the New Museum requires visitors 12 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the Museum. Visitors 18 years of age and older must also show an ID bearing the same identifying information as proof of vaccination. Vaccinated visitors ages 12–17 without an ID must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult with an ID.

All visitors ages 4 and up are still required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Assistive listening devices, headsets, and neck loops are available for most programs at the New Museum. Headsets and neck loops are available for Audio Tours.

The New Museum and its programs are accessible to people using wheelchairs. All galleries and facilities are wheelchair accessible. Two wheelchairs are available in the Coat Check free of charge. Please call in advance to reserve one if you need a wheelchair during your visit.

Please click here to read more about accessibility at the New Museum.

The New Museum is located at at 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. Please click here for driving directions and here for nearby parking. The New Museum is accessible via the N, R, J, Z, 6, B, D, F, and M subways.



About the speaker

Jeanette Bisschops is a curator and writer from Amsterdam based in New York. She is currently a Curatorial Fellow at the New Museum, New York. Between 2016 and 2019, Bisschops served as Curatorial Assistant for Time-Based Media at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and has curated multiple exhibitions as an independent curator. She holds a Master’s in Psychology from Maastricht University and a Master’s in Art History from the University of Amsterdam.


Thank you to Regan Lynn Larroque, New York Chapter Programs Committee Co-Chair, for organizing this program.


  1. Soft Water Hard Stone


November 11, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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ArtTable New York
212 343 1735 Ext. 13


New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, 10002

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