Whitney Biennial 2017

Solo en Inglès

performance artist dressed as the Statue of Liberty

Puppies Puppies, Liberty (Liberté), 2017. Performance, March 13, 2017.  2017  Whitney Biennial (March 17-June 11, 2017). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y. Courtesy of the artist and Balice Hertling, Paris. Photograph Bill Orcutt

Mia Locks: So Puppies Puppies is obviously a moniker. They shield their true identity. I think for them, the figure of the artist or the kind of role of the artist is something that’s very much a question in the work. And they approach this using different icons or even clichés. For instance, the Statue of Liberty, here in New York, is one of the most iconic images, but also a very common costume that you see in either in Times Square or, you know, street performers.

And I think what’s interesting for them is this idea of a really powerful symbol, which of course relates to immigration into this country, but also has this lightheartedness to it. And I think that that work can be read in both of those ways.

Narrator: Sometimes, Liberté is enacted by a live performer. At other times, the work is embodied by a mannequin.

Mia Locks: And if you’re here looking at a live performer you’ll have a very different experience of watching another human literally carry that burden of this torch, and how tiring it is for them physically to hold this object.