Whitney Biennial 2017
Audio Guide Playlist


Cauleen Smith: There is something really, really personal about processions. When you walk down the street and are making a public declaration, it draws individuals to you who want to know or are concerned or are engaged or curious about what you're expressing or what you're demonstrating. That's kind of different than really large political protests or agitations where there's sort of like a very forceful push outwards.

I actually think that art might be the only thing at this point. Not protesting, and not politics, but art may be the only thing that could actually create conversation and dialogue or reconciliation or mediation. Because politics has just completely failed us. What I hope my work is capable of is for individuals, it's for just any one person. If there's just enough of an opening in them that they think about themselves or the world or just think, and not even think differently, but just think for a moment. Just contemplate. Just open up a little bit, then I've done my job. Whereas politics is really about the martialing and controlling and deployment of power, and in order to have that power you have to have a lot of people in agreement functioning as a force. To me, that's the opposite of what art does.


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