PHYLLIS ODESSEY

This Could Be Something…

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.

I can’t.  There are too many.

Unless you have been hiding on Pakistan/Afghanistan border, you know that the Whitney Biennial has been lauded over by every critic on the planet.

What do I have to say about it?

I love it too.

Sign in Dawn Kasper’s Studio at the Whitney Biennial
I love thee
to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need…

every day’s…

Tom Thayer
Elaine Reichek

ELAINE REICHEK
We Construct A Narrative

In a way, the title sums up the entire Whitney Biennial.  Everyone in the show is constructing a narrative.  Sometimes, I could understand the narrative and sometimes not.  It didn’t really matter.  It was compelling, nevertheless. 

 
DAWN KASPAR (in cap) is the epicenter of the exhibition.  She is on site, living in her studio for the entire length of the show.  She is an artist, and a great performer.  Dawn talks to anyway who wishes to engage with her.  She is one of the those people whose face exudes openness and generosity.  Dawn seems to genuinely want to talk to you about ANYTHING.  The everyday is the heart of her gig.  The sign on the wall of her studio (see above) captures the paradigm of the show .
JOHN KELSEY:  What could be more “everyday” than this work by John Kelsey.  Here is part of the description of his piece:

“John Kelsey is an art critic,  gallery director, and member of the artists’ collective Bernadette Corporation;…
All the text here has been culled from spam emails received by the artist.  The lists of names indicate the emails’ senders, the titles are drawn from the subject lines…”
 NICOLE EISENMAN is one of the few painters in the Biennial.  Her style (figurative) are about our obsessions.  Her work made me laugh.
CAMERSON CRAWFORD
Sick Sic Six Sic ((Not) Moving:  Seagullssssssssssssssssss
From the text on the wall about this piece
“…Cameron Crawford’s response to the deaths of six people he knew.  His ability to fully understand their significancde to him is reflected in his use of homophones (word that are pronounced alike but which differ in meaning) that skirt the edge of comprehension, as well as in the near -immateriality of this “invisible curtain, made of invisible blocks,”…
So what was interesting besides…
This Life is Nothing More Than Waiting for the Sky To Open
Fluid Employment
Break UP
There is No Need
There is No Place Like Home
Hearsay…

At the Biennial traditional paintings or sculptures are in small supply.   Made objects, made with very low tech materials are de rigeur.  Between the turntables, cardboard, duck tape, string, photographs of discarded letters, it seems that art has come back to the making of objects.  And this is one of the reasons I loved the Biennial.  It uses the everyday to make the extraordinary.
 




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