Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Well, I've seen enough to be disappointed for two years"

I heard that snarky sentiment getting off the elevator tonight at the Whitney, during the second of their multiple openings for the Biennial. It fit comfortably with the reaction I received from every coworker and art pro I ran into. General consensus: "eh." That of course is the required response to the Biennial; regardless of the strength of individual works, as a whole we are all predisposed to be unmoved by the experience.
Of course the opening is all about seeing and being seen-and the interminable line to get in. I've worked enough doors at enough openings to know how hard the Whitney's junior staffmembers, stuck shivering on bouncer detail, had it tonight; the art crowd does not like being treated like bridge and tunnelers at Marquee. A friend on the inside would secure you a ticket this year, but no bypassing the line, we discovered. But hey, it's a sexy crowd, and the farther away from the bar you get, the more artwork could actually be seen. In the great mass of works, subtlety loses and only the strong survive: Marilyn Minter's immense canvases of glitter-coated eyelids and grimy feet in rhinestone heels...Francesco Vezzoli's hilariously spot-on big Hollywood trailer for a faux remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula...Urs Fischer's astoundingly literal deconstruction of the fourth floor....
Let the arguments begin!


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