Whitney Biennial 2012

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide allows visitors to hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2012 Whitney Biennial exhibition.

Leonard Peltier (b. 1944), _Horse Nation_, 2011. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm.). Collection of the artist; © Leonard Peltier. Photograph courtesy of Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

JOANNA MALINOWSKA: I’m Joanna Malinowska.

There are three works in the exhibition. One of them is a sculpture, a video, and a wall with a painting done by another artist.

The painting is an oil on canvas made by Leonard Peltier in 2011 in prison. Leonard Peltier is an American-Indian movement activist who has been in prison for over thirty-six years.

NARRATOR: Peltier has been convicted of killing two FBI agents during a riot on a reservation. Activists have long pointed to evidence they say undermines the government’s case against him.

JOANNA MALINOWSKA: I sort of thought it would be interesting also to include his work in the Biennial, especially since we are talking about the Whitney Museum of American Art. I haven't investigated this matter, but I think probably the presence of indigenous Americans in the Whitney Museum is very marginal.

I thought it would be nice to build a special wall for his paintings, another way of creating additional, extra territory for him. I thought that in a way it's sort of symbolically smuggling him out or [laughs] bringing him to the Biennial. He is not officially invited. By building him a wall, I can say that this is my work. The wall is my work, and I can do whatever I want with it. So, I'm [laughs] inviting Leonard Peltier.

NARRATOR: To hear about the sculpture and video, please tap the screen.