The Whitney has released its roster
for the 2006 biennial
. Seems to be very East Coast-heavy (surprise). At
MAN, Tyler Green questions its relevance.
Especially coming off the market-driven
art fairs. My favorite jab, "The Whitney will have 100 or so artists in
a show that sounds Seinfeldian, like it will be about nothing."
additional info on the the "WB" can be found on this participant's blog
. It all sounds a bit paternally Euro-centric and the inclusion of Europeans might really backfire. Besides there was just a show in Oslo on this same theme
, lots of the same artists too. Although, Portland is more in line with this European worldview.
Yes, it does seem to be a bit of a timid lineup.... the Greater New York show wasn't that great and this show has some of the same limpness. The LA artists are mostly big names who are doing the Whitney more of a favor than vice versa. The hoard of people I spoke to about it in Miami were equally unenthused. Worse, nobody seemed that upset either. Still lets remember nobody has seen the show and it could turn out great.... but the neither here nor there theme of "Day for Night" will require a really good hang to have any coherence. If it's going to be a liminal show at that looks back at the last 5 years its gonna be like the same old art world homework rather than something new.
Also, I counter Tyler... Biennials could count if they were challenging, strong exhibitions and shook up the status quo. Admittedly, it's just very rare for a curator to do that these days. Larry Rinder tried once in 2002 but he shook up the status quo without making a clear strong case. It was just too full of minor art which weakened the better artist's impact.
Biennials can really matter if the curators take a leadership role and challenge their audiences. If it looks like a kiss ass to an art fair... then that's what they are worth.
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