New Museum Triennial

Luca Rossi

“We don’t need to express ourselves, we do it too much; we need interstices of solitude and silence to finally say something true”

Gilles Deleuze

If you don’t understand something search for it on YouTube

giant letters, variable size, installation view, New Museum Triennial 2021.

Some giant letters form a seemingly incomprehensible acronym above the New Museum in New York. An unstable balance. So if we search for “IMG 0456” on YouTube we can access a kind of contemporary “Sistine Chapel”: even now, many people around the world are creating videos that are uploaded to YouTube without giving them a specific title. This is why the video remains on YouTube with the file name that the mobile phone gave the video. This is why if we search YouTube for IMG and any combination of 4 numbers, we find an ever-growing and ever-changing list of videos every day.


If You Don’t Understand Something Search For It on YouTube

13×18 cm digital photograph on 23×33 cm black frame, Luca Rossi 2021. (6 copies + a.p.). The work will be sent with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist as well as the back of the photograph. “Luca Rossi” is represented by Gallery Six, Milan

Price: $400 (shipping included)

This limited edition photographic series was created on the occasion of Luca Rossi’s project for the Triennale 2021 at the New Museum.


Luca Rossi began this series of works in 2013, anticipating and surpassing the NFT philosophy: the works are in fact unique and exclusive gateways, but in this case they give access to a large number of contents in daily change. This series of works, called “IMAGES”, not only restore the fluid complexity of our time but also oppose the dictatorship of the algorithm that always and only proposes us contents that are the same “as ourselves”. The list of videos we can find by searching for IMG 0456 on YouTube not only changes every day but is completely unexpected and does not necessarily conform to ‘what we like’. 

These works are as immobile and inaccessible as rock, and at the same time as fluid and changeable as water. The reference to the title of the New Museum’s 2021 Triennial is very strong: “soft water, hard stone”

The definitions of artwork, museum and artist go into overdrive: a giant installation above the museum but also something that can just be imagined and something that you can buy on this page; a work of art that you can see right where you are right now, without having to take the time and resources to physically go to New York, the concept of the museum thus expands into your private dimension; “Luca Rossi” creates nothing, anyone can be “Luca Rossi”, anyone in the world can have created the videos for which the work on the New Museum becomes the only gateway. This work not only photographs the complexity of our time, but also manages to redefine the definitions of “museum”, “artist” and “artwork”.


 If the modern looked for the original content and the post-modern for the original remix, the altermodern phase beginning in 2001 focuses on an information system that revolves around the content. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Instagram, etc. are all altermodern projects for which the content is irrelevant compared to an information system around it. For example, Google does not care what we are looking for, but that we are doing it, and we could say the same thing for any of these projects. Since 2009, Luca Rossi’s work has focused on the manipulation of information that is treated as if it were clay; before the explosion of social networks and the relevance of ‘fake news’. Manipulating information increasingly means determining real consequences, so the nature of the artwork is increasingly a fibrillation between object, imagination, direct experience and mediated experience.

In a condition of information overload, the works in the IMAGES series do not create yet another piece of content, do not contribute to this “noisy pollution”, but indicate a way of ordering the content already produced every day in the world. The same list of artists at the Triennale represents a multitude of similar and interchangeable works as dozens of similar events around the world. By now it is clear that for the last ten years or so, we do not need to express ourselves, we do it all too much; the contemporary artist faced with this overload of works and artists must ask himself a question.

This does not mean to stop producing but to develop a new fundamental awareness both inside and outside the art world. Information overload has a lethal effect on our contemporary lives, from our private lives to the major issues of our time: the pandemic, gender, climate change and the great migrations. This information overload suffocates us and anaesthetises us with regard to these issues: we find information to support every nuance of truth and can therefore only reinforce what we firmly believe to be true without ever being able to change our point of view. Bombarded every day with so much content and information, we do not have the time or the capacity to delve into anything, and so we find ourselves anaesthetised and suffocated.


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saliva and dust spots on your screen, various material, New Museum 2015.


Luca Rossi is an independent author for which anyone can be “Luca Rossi”. In this way everyone is stimulated to a new sense of opportunity and responsibility. Luca Rossi started the blog Whitehouse as a platform for art criticism, information, and art-related projects in 2009. A better synthesis of the blog could be found on : Major representatives of the art world have participated in the blog, contributing to its popularity. Luca Rossi has written in social networks and specialized magazines like “Flash Art”,, and with lucid criticism and originality.

Luca Rossi was defined “the most interesting personality” in Italy by Fabio Cavallucci, and “the new Vanessa Beecroft” by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio. In 2011 Alfredo Cramerotti (curator of “Manifesta” and Museum Director Mostyn, Wales) wrote: “To be honest, I’m not Roberta (a 2011 project by Luca Rossi) made me think more than dozens of other projects I have seen “live”.