the biennial

The John Riepenhoff Experience is like a miniature gallery that’s mounted in small box on the wall. The only way to access it is to climb up on a ladder and inside that box is a miniature world that I give over control to another artist’s ideas and artwork. The John Riepenhoff Experience in some ways was a way to invite people all the way from children up to art historians to think about the institution as something that’s not small, but malleable. Decisions can be made about it from anyone. If you have any opinion, step up and participate. So in some ways, that smallness creates this feeling of bigness for the viewer.”—John Riepenhoff

The exhibitions on view in the John Riepenhoff Experience will change over the course of the 2017 Biennial and will feature works by Milwaukee-based artist Nicholas Frank, Los Angeles–based artist Martine Syms, and finally an anonymous work from the Whitney’s collection.

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Spring has sprung…at least in Asad Raza’s installation! In Root sequence. Mother tongue (2017), Raza brings the forest into the Museum. The artist has described the 26 trees growing in the space as characters, individual inhabitants in a living network that includes their human caretakers.

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my outfit at the whitney biennial reception was made out of random stuff i threw together that day:

-a tiara given in tribute by a loyal supporter in the eastern provinces
-cassie let me wear her dress
-foil streamers that fell on the floor during the party

all magically cohering into goblin prom queen

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Paper art by Gunjan Aylawadi

Aylawadi is a self-taught visual artist and a qualified computer science engineer and industrial designer. Born in New Delhi, India, she now lives and works in Sydney. Since 2013, her works have been installed at prestigious art events, been part of several art prize exhibitions and acquired by private and corporate collections. In 2015, she exhibited in the International Biennial of paper at The CODA Museum (Netherlands).

Lyle Ashton Harris’s Once (Now) Again, a site-specific multimedia installation, features a three-channel video work comprised of projected images taken from Harris’s Ektachrome Archive (photographed 1986–2000) as well as three new video works using footage originally recorded on Hi-8 and MiniDV format in the 1990s. The resulting assemblage serves to both memorialize and evoke moments lived at the intersection of the personal and the political.

Bearing witness to a period of seismic shifts—the emergence of multiculturalism, the second wave of AIDS activism, and the interconnection of the contemporary art scene with LGBTQ and African diasporic communities—the Ektachrome Archive, an ongoing project, documents his friends, family, and lovers. By setting intimate moments alongside landmark events (such as the Black Popular Culture Conference in 1991, the truce between the Crips and the Bloods in 1992, the Black Male exhibition at the Whitney in 1994, and the Black Nations/Queer Nations Conference in 1995), the archive constructs collective and private narratives to comment on identity, desire, sexuality, and loss.

Explore the Ektachrome slide images from the three-channel video installation Ektachrome Archives (New York Mix) (2017) on whitney.org

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The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eighth installment of the longest-running survey of American art, opens today! The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design.

Always a flashpoint for discussion and debate, the Biennial is an exhibition not to be missed.

Janine Antoni
Gnaw, 1992
600 lbs. of lard on marble pedestal gnawed on by the artist, also displayed in the Whitney Biennial with 130 artist-made lipsticks with pigment, beeswax, and chewed lard removed from lard cube
24 x 24 x 24 inches

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The clapback:

  • “What the fuck is this” - merlincarpenter
  • “Incredibly insulting for a white woman to make this painting.” - cheyennejulien
  • “Seriously wtf is this bullshit? This is some fucking wild ally theater. Like a yt woman painting the death of a Black person that happened because of a yt woman like wtf is this bullshit, @lizny3?”
    “@lindqvistcontemporary u owe Black ppl reparations for enjoying this painting”
    “@lizny3 u owe Black ppl money for posting and enjoying this painting. Every yt person who likes this painting is a complete piece of shit.”
    “@lizny3 yt silence equals Black death” - winslowlaroche
  • “Wow fuck this. So they put this white bullshit in when they could have had a Black artist in its place.”
    “White people profiting off the crimes of their ancestors. I want to puke.”
    “It was brave for Mama Till to share with the world what white supremacy did to her son. It’s exploitative for a white woman to aestheticize that pain and trauma. It’s BULLSHIT for the Whitney to then select it to be in their show.”
    “Literally the laziest piece of art that I have ever seen. What stakes does this white woman have in this art? She’s not reliving generations of racist violence and trauma. She’s not giving up any privilege in creating this image. Plus it’s just genuinely a mediocre piece. But y'all hoes live for large scale painting 🙄”
    “This is the reason why the YAMS collective dropped out of the @whitneymuseum biennial in 2014 #WHITEneyMuseum” - lilpettycrocker
  • “This tone deaf bullshit needs to be removed and disposed of immediately.”
    “And your emoji usage is absolute garbage. Everything about this is disturbing.” - tylerhi
  • “Fuck this fuck this fuck this” - roll_called
  • “This is fucking heinous. Violent, vile, so inappropriate. How do you possibly justify this? At all. Fuck this trash, from *artist* to concept to production to inclusion. Fucked @lizny3@whitneymuseum #whitneybiennial2017″ - joe_miranda
  • “This is disgusting and offensive and disrespectful. But even more so is the art institution’s complete and utter inability to see and understand how wrong this is. The complete lack of critical analysis or pushback just pulls the rug back on an even bigger problem-bigger than this artist and bigger than this institution. As an artist, it makes me question EVERYTHING i know about art and the industry. As a Black artist, it reinforces how necessary my voice…and the many others which this industry continues to ignore…is. And believe me you, after this, I’m only get louder. So kudos to one more White artist profiting from Black death…and for y'all signing off that check.” - brownivyx