whitney biennial


“Day for Night” is the liveliest, brainiest, most self-conscious Whitney Biennial I have ever seen. In some ways it isn’t a biennial at all. Curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne have rebranded the biennial, presenting a thesis, not a snapshot, a proposition about art in a time when modernism is history and postmodernist rhetoric feels played out. This show, and the art world, are trying to do what America can’t or won’t do: Use its power wisely, innovatively, and with attitude; be engaged and, above all, not define being a citizen of the world narrowly.

“Day for Night” is filled with work I’m not interested in; it tries to do too much in too little space; it is often dry. Nevertheless, the show is a compelling attempt to examine conceptual practices and political agency, consider art that is not about beauty, reconsider reductivism, explore the possibility of an underground in plain sight, probe pre-modern and archaic approaches, posit destruction and chaos as creative forces, and revisit ideas about obfuscation and anonymity.

more from the Village Voice here.