#2 2008 (19)
I happened to be in New York in March this year and naturally did not miss a chance to visit the 2008 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the USA today should by all means be of special interest for me - a representative of a country which has very little (or better to say no) experience in organizing such cultural events: 74 in the Whitney in New York against 2 in Moscow! Nevertheless the idea to make a comparison seemed real - each large-scale survey mirrors the most vivid tendencies common for the state of contemporary art in general. My expectations came true. As it was put by Donna de Salvo, the Whitney Chief Curator and Associate Director for Programmes: “The Biennial is a laboratory, a way of ‘taking the temperature’, of what is happening now and putting it on view... In dealing with the art of the present, there are no easy assessments, only multiple points of entry. For the Whitney, and for our public, we hope the Biennial is one way in."
A biennial is an exercise in imposing temporary order onto a situation that is, essentially, out of control.
Adam D. Weinberg