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Sunday 03.05.06

« Vicki Lynn Wilson Performance at Blackfish | Main | Simparch lecture at PSU »

It's soooo Whitney...

I haven't been able to get too caught up in the latest Whitney Biennial... mainly because is seems like such old news after Miami (and nowhere near as challenging). Also, because I live in Portland the US city most likely to join the EU it's a bit retrograde (we are obsessed with not making the same mistakes the rest of the country have made already).

If you are still curious Jerry Saltz gives his take here and Michael Kimmelman's take is somewhat helpful as well in the NYT's (with some pictures). I think the curators were right to try and bust up the hoard of less than toothy, lets giggle while Rome burns art... the stuff that the fairs and the Greater New York show have promulgated. Still, you can't overhaul a broken system (an increasingly predictable system?) by sampling from the same artists that produced the impasse with less than toothy critiques (weak ass pseudonyms, or masquerading as a gallery aren't enough, wasnt that 2002 and didn't Forcefield do it better?). I think Adrian Searle's take on the Tate Triennial illustrates the wall that has been hit even more clearly (but wasn't that wall clearly illustrated by the Stuckists? no they were entertaining and even older news). Maybe museum's just can't institutionalize radical change anymore with 'ennials in this very porous and communication heavy art world?

I decided to skip the WB 06 after doing the Art Basel Miami art junket (I've seen a lot of its work or stuff like it elsewhere already). For me the best way to look at this WB is to think about its recent predecessors, both of which seemed at least galvanizing. The 2002 biennial infuriated people because it wasn't about New York, the 2004 one pleased people committed to New York because it seemed to support the effervescent New York market. Jerry Saltz was right in abstaining from praise, Schjeldahl acted relieved that he was in the right city (a question he seems to bring up frequently). Problem is, there is no one city anymore and the WB 06 seems to acknowledge that. The other problem is that conclusion isn't very provocative... the art fairs and the Greater New York show proved this point many moons ago. What's more the Uncertain States Of America show last fall ate its lunch. Ok we have an art impasse, isn't it time we stop curating shows about the impasse?

*update: Todd Gibson's Haiku and his earlier observation. Also, show on the road and Bloggy check in... I still don't feel anything but ennui about this. If you dont travel much I guess it might be worthwhile.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 05, 2006 at 22:33 | Comments (0)


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