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Whitney Biennial 2008

Mar 6–June 1, 2008

CURATORS DISCUSS THE 2008 BIENNIAL

2008 Whitney Biennial curators Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin share some of their ideas and insights about the process of putting together the exhibition. TranscriptEnlarge 

JEDEDIAH CAESAR

2008 Whitney Biennial artist Jedediah Caesar describes how he created his sculpture Helium Brick aka Summer Snow from a block of industrial Styrofoam covered with layers of colored resin. TranscriptEnlarge 

MK GUTH

For the 2008 Whitney Biennial, artist MK Guth created a participatory artwork called Ties of Protection and Safekeeping. She invites visitors to the Park Avenue Armory to answer the question “What is worth protecting?” Visitors write their answers on strips of red flannel cloth which MK Guth weaves into a long braid that grows longer every day. TranscriptEnlarge 

ELLEN HARVEY

Ellen Harvey introduces her Museum of Failure, a new installation for the 2008 Whitney Biennial consisting of an illuminated lightbox and a large painting depicting a wall of mirrored frames. She discusses the “impossibility” of self-portraiture and political subject matter in relation to this work. TranscriptEnlarge 

BERT RODRIGUEZ

Bert Rodriguez reveals what goes on inside the “white cube” of his 2008 Whitney Biennial installation in the Park Avenue Armory. Rodriguez explains how and why he offers visitors free therapy sessions. TranscriptEnlarge 

WALEAD BESHTY

2008 Whitney Biennial artist Walead Beshty discusses his photographs of the former Iraqi embassy to the former East Germany (two nations that no longer exist) and the complex ideas behind these images. He also explains why his glass sculptures have acquired multiple cracks and fissures. TranscriptEnlarge 

OMER FAST

Omer Fast, winner of the 2008 Bucksbaum Award, discusses his 2008 Whitney Biennial work, The Casting (2007), a four-channel video featuring a young American army sergeant who recounts two stories—which seem to be his own anguished memories—one about dating a woman while stationed in Germany, and the other of accidentally killing a civilian in Iraq. TranscriptEnlarge 

FRITZ HAEG

Artist Fritz Haeg’s project for the 2008 Whitney Biennial is Animal Estates 1.0: New York, New York. The project consists of model homes for animals (including the beaver, bald eagle, and the mason bee among others) that once lived in the vicinity of the Whitney Museum 400 years ago. TranscriptEnlarge 

CHARLES LONG

Walks along the LA River Basin inspired artist Charles Long’s installation of sculptures and photographs in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. His commentary details the rich birdlife he found there and describes how he uses materials from the river to make his sculptures. TranscriptEnlarge