The Whitney Museum's "1997 Biennial Exhibition," Mar. 20-June 1,
1997, encapsulates what's hot in new art in New York--at least,
insofar as the artists somehow fall into the category of "American
Art," the museum's ever-more-constricting brief. This year the
Biennial is jointly organized by longtime Whitney curator and
experience Biennial hand Lisa Phillips and newcomer Louise Neri,
the New York editor of Parkett, a high-class, thick art journal
produced on paper. This is the first exhibition--since its
inauguration in 1932--that an outside curator has participated in
Is there a guiding curatorial point-of-view? Yes, say the curators, a
"certain psychological intensity and a hands-on quality. The
exhibition has been developed around the idea of artists'
cosmologies--meticulously constructed worlds where private
concerns intersect with public reality."
Roman Anikushin and Bob Paris
Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT)
Kerry James Marshall
Paul D. Miller
The Wooster Group
Curiously, the release notes that the next Biennial, the 1999
edition, will be postponed till the spring of 2000. The show is
sponsored by Beck's.
Some further notes from the release, briefly defining some of the
notably young and unfamiliar names on the list: "Katy Schimert's
delicate porcelain and foil topography; Bryan Crockett's viscera of
balloons; and Jennifer Pastor's artificial nature of complex plastics
and special-effects constructions"...."Shazia Sikander's
reformulated traditional Indian miniatures"...."Zoe Beloff's tiny
cinema of memories"...."Annette Lawrence's obsessive drawings in
her own blood, based on the Mayan calendar"...."Glen Seator's
altered reconstruction of the Whitney Museum Director's
office"...."Paul Shambroom's vivid photographs of nuclear missile
stations, which present disturbing juxtapositions of man and the
tools of destruction"...."the backyard microcosms, produced with
specially designed cameras, of Aaron Rose, a 65-year-old
photographer whose works have not been shown to the public
prior to this exhibition."
Video installations in the galleries include "the Bureau of Inverse
Technology's constructed surveillance of suicide leaps from the
Golden Gate Bridge"...."Kristin Lucas' personal adventures in
technological pathology" and "internationally acclaimed
choreographer William Forsythe's dynamic dance solo for film."
Also on view: "a soundscape piece by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ
Spooky That Subliminal Kid)."
The show also includes a mural for the museum exterior (we're not
sure by who) and an installation by Louise Bourgeois of her own
clothes, "collected over a lifetime and arranged provocatively."