Make It New is a group exhibition featuring international artists such as Juliao Sarmento, John Baldessari, Lawrence Weiner, Allan Sekula, David Ireland, and Olivier Mosset. The exhibition's title is derived from a series of essays by Ezra Pound published in 1934, in which Pound states, "The artist is always the beginning ... Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth." With this in mind, Make It New demonstrated that what was considered avant-garde in literature of the time was actually archaic. The same way Pound drew attention to the redundancy of literary works amongst his contemporaries, this exhibition seeks to bring together artists who, during their inception, attempted to distance themselves from what they considered archaic in the art world to create an avant-garde.
The artists included in this exhibition pioneered the avant-garde in their respective country, railing against what was considered popular in the 1970s, when this work was created. At the time of their creation, these works were provocative in their character and seen as a shift from the existing concerns of the day. From a contemporary point of view, these works are now regarded as "academic" or "vintage", as the marginal has become the mainstream; one avant-garde movement begets another.
The aim of this exhibition is to reanimate these works within the context of one another and to rethink the work's impact implicit at the moment of their creation. Without knowing it, the artists in this exhibition fulfilled Ezra Pounds premise of making it new.