The artists consider each of these multiple platforms equally valid even as they seek ways to complicate and transcend institutional parameters.So... they are united in their belief in the equal validity of the multiple platforms? I love the way that's completely, incomprehensibly amorphous but also patently untrue — because of all the many artists in the show, there must be at least one who considers at least one of the platforms at least a little less worthy than the other platforms.
Anyway, surely, I'm being unfair by withholding the antecedent for "platforms." Let me correct that seeming unfairness. The "multiple platforms" are: "music and other performance, movement workshops, radio broadcasts, publishing projects, community-based activities, film screenings, culinary gatherings, or lectures." Come on, I'll bet anything one of those artists thinks "culinary gatherings" aren't equal to film screenings or "movement workshops" don't quite measure up to music performance.
Then there is the tiresome tendency — it's been going on for decades — to claim that art is "political." It's so sad and needy the way the assertions are made. There's a reference to "uncertain sociopolitical themes" and:
Much work in this year's Biennial concerns politics although its mode of address is often oblique or allegorical.Like it's our fault if we don't see politics in the art. Maybe you should stand over there and look from an angle or consult your imagination and hear the political argument that large distressed block of styrofoam is trying ot make. It's allegorical — it's Al-Gore-ical.
Either the politics aren't there and the curators wish they were, or they're barely there and the curators are anxious for us not to miss them. But why is getting politics into the art so important? And if it's subtly there, shouldn't we be teased and left wondering what it is we're really seeing? Am I projecting my own thoughts or perceiving the artist's message? Musing about that, we form a relationship with the artist. It might have been interesting if the curator hadn't nagged us to see politics everywhere.
Projects... explore fluid communications structures and systems of exchange that index larger social, political, and economic contexts...Projects explore structures and systems? And structures and systems index contexts? I think this is trying to say something political about art, something about how art challenges capitalism – because, of course, if art must be political, it must be left wing. The text goes on to credit the artists for producing objects that cannot be bought — that have "an ephemeral, event-based character." But there are plenty of big, chunky objects all over the museum that hardly look as though they are about to evanesce.
IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian writes:
The Whitney Biennial is a massive, smelly expulsion of all the hip, tiresome shit that's built up in the bowels of the New York art scene for two years, racing artwork from the cradle of the studio to the crypt of that ossified institution without waiting to see whether it could even survive a life on its own. It's a parade of all the embarrassing fashions of the previous two years, all the simple-minded trends and gimmicks that came and went, the hangover the morning after a drink-and-drug binge where one surveys the wreckage and the carnage around them and moans "What did I do last night?!"Here's what gets me. Their writing proves they lack taste. So it is irrational to accept their aesthetic judgment.
"Curators" are also an interesting breed, generally academics not smart enough to be scholars in any actually useful discipline, nor creative enough to be artists themselves, nor attractive enough to be models nor rich enough to be hedonists, they make their living as parasites who, unsatisfied with simply sucking the life out of you, feel the need to explain it to you in the most uninteresting terms while they're doing it.
Art is attractive to people like this. Being at its core interpretive and ultimately unexplainable, it invites these lackluster pedants to simply make shit up. Hence also the gravitation towards postmodernism and its jargon, elevating making shit up into a religion.
Speaking of writing though, Palladian, that's one hell of a mixed metaphor in your first sentence: shit ≈ baby.