Whitney Biennial 2014

Solo en Inglès

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.

213-2—Anthony Elms on Allan Sekula


ANTHONY ELMS: Allan Sekula has for decades been a clear moral voice, and an ethical voice in the art world. 


NARRATOR: Curator Anthony Elms.


ANTHONY ELMS: Either trying to look and sort of critique them and get into the facts of a situation, but also trying to get into them personally, deal with them on a personal level. So it’s not simply—his work has never been critique at an arm’s length. 


Sadly he died this year. 


I didn’t know how extensive or how many, but I knew he had had some sketchbooks with these little sort of drawings―these more—you could say, maybe next to his other work you could say that they’re more whimsical, but I think they’re just sort of imbued with the same sort of investigation as his work was, just at a different level. Which I felt that, sadly, now that he’s gone, the work still remains, the work is still here, but what is gone is the person. So I was interested in seeing if we could display some of these notebooks that display maybe a little bit more the humor before these pieces became these large multi-panel video/writing projects, but the sort of, the going through the thoughts, the going through the paths that maybe didn’t get to the end, and actually look at the material with his own hand, in his own writing.  


Allan Sekula, Sketch from Allan Sekula’s notebook “PF poland 2009 (1),” 2009. Ink, correction fluid, and colored marker on paper, 3.5 × 5.5 in. (9 × 14 cm). The Estate of Allan Sekula; © the Estate of Allan Sekula