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.

WU TSANG: My name is Wu Tsang.

NARRATOR: Tsang has created this work—Green Room—as a place for artists in the fourth-floor performance program to rest and relax in down moments. When they’re not using it, he’s showing a two-channel video in the space.

WU TSANG: I see Green Room as being an extension of my artistic practice as a performer, and as someone who likes to host and facilitate events.

I was doing this party with some friends called Wildness at a bar called The Silver Platter in Macarthur Park Los Angeles. We did the club for two years and it was a weekly club.

The bar had actually opened in 1963, and it’s a really special place, that’s like a safe space for queer, LGBT, mostly Latina/Latino, and a lot of immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

I’m very interested in thinking about night life spaces as being really politicized, urgent, almost survivalist spaces for queer communities, particularly like queer communities of color, where there are so few spaces that are available in the world for people to feel, like, comfortable being who they are.

There’s two channels of image and a really complicated sound environment so, you’re meant to kind of experience, more immersively, maybe what the feeling of being at the bar is.

The two-channel video that’s in Green Room is kind of replicating some of the voices and the experiences of some of the women of the Silver Platter. And this one woman in particular who has a very difficult experience emigrating to Los Angeles from Honduras. She kind of has to leave because her family, her father in particular, they don’t accept that she’s trans and so her life is in danger. So she comes to LA to try to make it on her own and finds the Silver Platter. It’s kind of a really hopeful, amazing story.