I’m in bed with the flu (again!), so must forego the tiring press-party tour today of the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial. Usually the best thing about opening a new WhitBiopsy is that it means there’s a full two years until the next one, but this year the bored, lazy, infirm or otherwise engaged have an out. Over a year ago I correctly predicted in this space that the new Biennial would be all about party and connections. Sure enough, the Whitbash has already been described as "The Networking Biennial," "The Facebook Biennial" and even "The Recycle Every Party in the History of Art Biennial."
It is too bad partymeister Baird Jones recently joined the majority or he would be the hands-down winner of this year’s Melva Buxsbaum Prize. Cagey curator Shamim Momin has proffered the cover story that out-of-pocket young artists mingled in kitchens and alleys to germinate various pods of originality, when what will be going on at the Whit is the usual courtship of the rich, themselves enjoying what used to be known as "slumming." During the course of the show you can get your picture drawn, your hair braided, write a Michel Gondry-like fourth-rate film script, and otherwise feel more and more like a worthless tool in the hands of nerd royalty. Well, things could be worse: you could be living in your car in Ohio, and if you are, Shamim Momin will be on her way out to recruit you for the 2010 edition.
Why waste the effort, folks, when in the spirit of Facebook, you can create your own Bienniale at home? I did it this morning. First, heat up some chicken stock, throw in some chopped up carrots, onions and garlic, cover and simmer for half an hour, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and Romano cheese. Instant Rirkrit, but tastes much better!
For visual art, I walked into my office and found on the wall a small painting of a plane by Rosa Loy, two mating birds by Devon Costello, an erotic bedroom scene by Walter Robinson, a drawing of the artist walking into a cave by Ellen Altfest, a black ghost on the subway tracks by DAZE, a collage of a house by Chie Fukao, and a photo of a raven-haired beauty by Malerie Marder: very satisfying curating such an eclectic show and I didn’t have to lift a finger.
Time for a nap, dreaming of drinking tequila, which has always disagreed with me, with my old pal Eduardo Sarabia. I was supposed to go to a dinner in his honor last night, but everyone was ill, so it was cancelled, happily. I think I’ll look up Heather Rowe, another Biennial artist, on Facebook, or maybe, Thelma Golden, in the "Party Pictures" section of NewYorkSocialDiary.com and, for a few sustained laughs, I’ll go to Idrinkyourmilkshake.com. Gee, this is the most fun and relaxing Biennial yet. Thank you, Adam Weinberg. Have a nice warm glass of milk on me.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).