The Biennial was not a total waste. There were a few good pieces (like this one), but most of it was very predictable.
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Still from not a matter of if but when.....
[then the title gets so long it's silly] 2006. Video projection, color, sound; 32 min.
Better late than never, here is the much-anticipated Whitney Biennial checklist:
- Building Supplies/Low-Brow Materials
Home Depot should have sponsored the show
- Clip Art
- Design as Art
- Chairman Mao
- Suburban Angst
- Size without Monumentality
- Obsessive Multiples
- Faux-naif/Infantile drawing style
Nothing's sadder than an MFA who (a) managed to avoid learning how to draw
or (b) can draw but feels the need to pretend not to.
- It’s not about the figure, it’s about the body/Bodily fluids/Cast body parts
- Ominous Buzzing sound. [Will installationist ever get tired of that? I
did about 25 years ago]
- It’s not about the execution, it’s about the fabrication
- It’s about Language but it doesn’t say anything
I must say that I did not notice any deer antlers, robots, or creepy manequins and that left me rather disappointed. A few artists did stand out with work good enough to restore my faith:
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne made me question my assumptions.
Harry(ette) Dodge goes on a witty and touching journey.
Daniel Joseph Martinez delivers in every facet from idea to execution.
Mary Heilman's paintings are delicious and understated.
Charles Long. Didn't want to like it but I loved it. His work combines really
well with Heilman's.
Rahel Harrison does a great job of commenting on the mess that used to be the American Dream. It's the show's single mostt dominant thread.
JedediahCaeser's sculptures(?)/paintings(?) are just great.
Adam Putnam's Magic Lantern was so good I didn't want to leave.
Mika Rotttenberg might have the best piece in the show. Very immersive,very thought-provoking. I give her and Julia Meltzer co-prizes for best in show.
Worst in show: Certainly the hanging. Perhaps taking a cue from the crew at the New Museum, it's very, very difficult to tell who created which work. On a positive side, and positive being the key word, the show is hung in such a way that the over-and-over dreary subject matter does not make for a depressing experience. I felt fresh all the way through the visit, though annoyed to see so much derivative conceptualism (a deadly combination). still, it was worth the visit and there were a few yummy veggies hidden amidst the iceberg lettuce.