Whitney Biennial 2014
Audio Guide Playlist

Hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Biennial. The guide also features commentary from Biennial curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner.

MICHELLE GRABNER: The Surrealists were notorious for fighting, infighting amongst themselves.


NARRATOR: Curator Michelle Grabner speaks about Shana Lutker’s installation, a poetic re-presentation of one of the Surrealist’s fights. In 1926, Joan Miró and Max Ernst contributed costumes and set designs to a Ballet Russe performance in Paris. The Surrealist’s self-proclaimed leader Andre Bretón thought they were selling out. 


MICHELLE GRABNER: So Bretón ended up getting a gang of supporters and they all sat up in the balcony, and when the ballet started at the premiere, they all started to whistle and shout and drop these red sheets of paper detailing the problems with their kind of selling out and participating in this stage set. So that’s what Shana’s stage set deals with. It kind of looks back to this very specific history. So you can see all the elements. You can see these very beautiful lead feet of the ballerinas, you can see a reference to a skirt, you can see Miró’s drawings of the ballerinas themselves. So that’s all part of this stage set.


NARRATOR: Lutker’s work is grounded in historical research. Like the other works in this room, it has a strong intellectual underpinning.  


MICHELLE GRABNER: I think about that room as kind of the heady room. The room in which one is doing a lot of reading, whether you’re reading images or you’re reading literally text. And there’s a lot of sampling that’s going on, there’s a lot of appropriation, there’s a lot of self-reflexivity. So it’s the room I really think of that really deals with a criticality on all accounts. 


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