N and I hit the biennial with Ben yesterday. We had free passes so we figured the impact of a truly awful (as predicted by us based upon past esperience) would shield us from major trauma, but NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's Ben's take:
And one last comment about the Biennial, and then I'll put it to rest. I mean Bruce,
this is a major museum for American art, and that mishmash of nonsense is the best
they can come up with? You and I have seen better 'lousy' artworks in our accidental
gallery-hoppings downtown. I'd just like to have 20 minutes with the Whitney's board
of directors and staff of curators, before I'd ban the whole kaboodle of them to new
careers as Wal-Mart checkers in Fargo or Tuscaloosa. The thing is, even with the few
good artists on display, the show was mostly 4 floors of the OBLIGATORY BULLSHIT! The
usual construction-site diorama with wires hanging from the ceiling, a gossimer cobweb
thingy, torn clothes draped in the breeze, weird sculptures done by autistics, slide
shows of meaningless family pics via noisy projectors, (and watch out for the soccer
ball on the floor!), badly focused videos from any 3rd rate nightclub in the city,
'performers' who can't sing OR play the piano, AND, let's not forget the MUST-HAVE
room full of eclectic garage-sale junk from someone's basement, randomly arrayed!
Yeah... ART! At least according to the Whitney. Worst compilation by a big NYC museum
that I've ever seen? Probably. And so I was EMBARRASSED! And a bit ashamed. (For the
tourists and visitors who payed 25 bucks to walk through that mess. And you know me,
I talk to everyone, and the few folks I chatted with at the Whitney yesterday, who
were politely mostly scratching their heads... I implored them to skip the Guggenheim
or MoMA, and just walk over to the MET, where whether for some modern or old, they'll
find some great art and get back to reality!)
But then for some friends who are art-lovers, I'm actually recommending that they see
the Biennial. Just to see HOW BAD the show is, and how 9th rate the Whitney has become.
And OKAY/OKAY, I can hear you groaning for me to SHUT THE FUCK UP! And so I will!
I gotta say, even thought there were a few pieces I really did like, this was the weakest biennial I've ever seen, and I'm glad we didn't have to pay.
p.s. by some fluke I lost all my pics from the day (Yes, the camera is new and I am old). I stole this one from the net.
Yes, we get it. It evokes countless paintings of artists studios, but it's REAL, not painted (including a rather boring (perhaps bored of talking to all the bored patrons passing through) live artist to talk to.. We get it. It evokes artists who could/can draw/paint/evoke, and affect...
I guess we were hoping for more.