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What was Berlin in the 20th century if not an outlier-exemplifier, what with that city’s extreme history of occupation, splintering, reunification, multiculturalism, and global emergence? It is small wonder, then, that this city should be the site of one of the more polarizing art events of the 21st century.
Shabby but Thriving, a solo show at the New Museum by artist inresidence A.K. Burns, might have this season’s most resonant exhibition title. The two seemingly competing adjectives suggest the odd condition in which many of us find ourselves: being pushed and pulled between outrage and despair, action and inaction, impoverishment and nourishment.