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.

Photograph by Anna Mülter. © archives of The Red Krayola

NARRATOR: The Red Krayola began in 1966 as a psychedelic rock group. The band has evolved musically since then, and its personnel has changed as well. Singer and guitar player Mayo Thompson has been the main constant throughout. One of the Red Krayola’s contributions to the Biennial is The Portal, a Skype interface with the band.

MAYO THOMPSON: And The Portal is a—it’s like science fiction when I was a child. You know, two-way radios with visions on them where people could talk to each other—not just Dick Tracy, now we can actually do these things.

We’re not making a fetish, let’s put it that way, out of the means of delivering information. We’re just exploiting it. We’re just not committed to these modes. We’re not ultramodern people; we’re hostage to these relations just like everybody else. We’ve got email accounts and cell phones, and this time we’re stuck with Skype. If we meet sometime in twenty years maybe it would be what I always hoped it would be, which would be telepathic.

We’re going to be on duty from the time that the museum opens we’ll be there until the time the museum closes. We’ll be together all day. We’re going to be sending from a number of locations around the world.

We cram a lot of time into three months. We get to realize some dreams that we’ve had about how process would be relevant to an understanding of what it is we do. Largely we present finished goods–dry goods. Ready for the road. In this case we can open up and talk about process, and reveal more of the background, which has always been a kind of a part we’ve insisted on in our music, and perhaps it’s one of the things that alienates people because we insist on showing how uncomfortable, discomfiting, strange, uncanny, unwieldy, unwholesome, unhealthy, uneconomic, unbelievable et cetera these kind of processes are.

NARRATOR: The installation also includes a number of paintings by the conceptual art collective Art and Language, who’ve been close associates of the Red Krayola. Some of the songs that the band will be rehearsing and performing here were written in collaboration with Art and Language during the 1980s.