Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing

Mar 20–Aug 11, 2024

On view
Floors 1, 3, 5, 6

The eighty-first edition of the Whitney Biennial—the longest-running survey of contemporary art in the United States—features seventy-one artists and collectives grappling with many of today’s most pressing issues. This Biennial is like being inside a “dissonant chorus," as participating artist Ligia Lewis described it, a provocative yet intimate experience of distinct and disparate voices that collectively probe the cracks and fissures of the unfolding moment.

The exhibition’s subtitle, Even Better Than the Real Thing, acknowledges that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is complicating our understanding of what is real, and rhetoric around gender and authenticity is being used politically and legally to perpetuate transphobia and restrict bodily autonomy. These developments are part of a long history of deeming people of marginalized race, gender, and ability as subhuman—less than real. In making this exhibition, we committed to amplifying the voices of artists who are confronting these legacies, and to providing a space where difficult ideas can be engaged and considered.

This Biennial is a gathering of artists who explore the permeability of the relationships between mind and body, the fluidity of identity, and the growing precariousness of the natural and constructed worlds around us. Whether through subversive humor, expressive abstraction, or non-Western forms of cosmological thinking, to name but a few of their methods, these artists demonstrate that there are pathways to be found, strategies of coping and healing to be discovered, and ways to come together even in a fractured time.

The 2024 Whitney Biennial is organized by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator and Meg Onli, Curator at Large, with Min Sun Jeon and Beatriz Cifuentes. The performance program is organized by Iles and Onli, with guest curator Taja Cheek. The film program is organized by Iles and Onli, with guest curators Korakrit Arunanondchai, asinnajaq, Greg de Cuir Jr, and Zackary Drucker.

View the Biennial film and performance program schedule and watch a number of the films from home on MUBI. 

View the film and performance program Watch Biennial films on MUBI

Review accessibility information before visiting the 2024 Whitney Biennial.


En español

Bienal del Whitney 2024: Aún mejor que la real

La octogésima primera edición de la Bienal del Whitney, la muestra de arte contemporáneo de mayor duración en los Estados Unidos, presenta a setenta y un artistas y dos colectivos que abordan muchos de los temas actuales urgentes. Desde el comienzo buscamos organizar una Bienal que se sintiera como estar dentro de un “coro disonante”, según lo describió Ligia Lewis, una de las artistas participantes; una experiencia provocadora e íntima a la vez, de voces distintas y dispares que colectivamente exploran las grietas y fisuras del momento que estamos viviendo.

El subtítulo de la exhibición: Aún mejor que la real, reconoce que la Inteligencia Artificial (IA) complica nuestra comprensión de lo que es real, y que la retórica alrededor del género y la autenticidad está siendo usada política y legalmente para perpetuar la transfobia y restringir la autonomía corporal. Estos acontecimientos son parte de una larga historia en la cual las personas marginadas por su raza, género y capacidades son consideradas subhumanas, es decir, menos reales. Con esta exhibición nos comprometimos a amplificar las voces de artistas que confrontan estos legados y a brindar un espacio donde las ideas difíciles se pueden abordar y considerar.

Esta Bienal reúne a artistas que exploran la permeabilidad de las relaciones entre mente y cuerpo, la fluidez de la identidad y la creciente precariedad de los mundos naturales y construidos que nos rodean. Ya sea a través del humor subversivo, la abstracción expresiva o formas no occidentales de pensamiento cosmológico, por nombrar algunos de sus métodos, estos artistas demuestran que aún quedan caminos por encontrar, estrategias por descubrir para hacer frente y sanar, y maneras de unirse incluso en una época fracturada.

La Bienal del Whitney 2024 está organizada por Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, y Meg Onli, Curadora General, con Min Sun Jeon y Beatriz Cifuentes. El programa de performances está organizado por Iles y Onli, con la curadora invitada Taja Cheek. El programa de cine está organizado por Iles y Onli, con curadores invitados Korakrit Arunanondchai, asinnajaq, Greg de Cuir Jr, y Zackary Drucker.

Más sobre el arte y artistas que forman parte de la Bienal del Whitney 2024: Aún mejor que la real.

Eventos en español


Back

30 / 69

Previous Next

Jenni Laiti (she/her)

30

Film

Born 1981 in Anár, Sápmi (Inari, Finland)
Lives in Jåhkåmåhkke, Sápmi (Jokkmokk, Sweden)

As a Sámi activist dedicated to decolonization and the preservation of Mother Earth, Jenni Laiti views film as a medium to advocate for climate justice and Indigenous self-determination. Teardrops of our Grandmother, created together with Carl-Johan Utsi, concentrates on the changing glacial landforms that were once seen as eternal to the Sámi peoples. Asserting the inseparability of landscape and selfhood, Laiti illustrates how mechanisms of oppression continually endanger the existence of Indigenous peoples and their geographies. In the 2022 video installation Bivdit luosa máhccat // Asking the salmon to return, Laiti is seen entering the Deatnu River (modern-day areas of Norway and Finland), where the salmon population has been drastically reduced due to climate change driven by exploitative hunting practices of Western companies. Over the course of the film, the artist becomes the displaced salmon returning home, again reflecting on the inseparability of nature and selfhood that is central to the Sámi identity.

Bivdit luosa máhccat // Asking the salmon to return, 2022



Events

View all


Audio guides

Whitney Biennial 2024
Floor 1

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from the exhibition.

View guide

Whitney Biennial 2024
Floor 3

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from the exhibition.

View guide

Whitney Biennial 2024
Floor 5

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from the exhibition.

View guide

Whitney Biennial 2024
Floor 6

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from the exhibition.

View guide


Exhibition Catalogue

Since its introduction in 1932, the Whitney Biennial has charted new developments in contemporary art. Amid ongoing upheavals in cultural, social, and political spheres, this catalogue offers an engaging new take on the storied institution of the Biennial while continuing to serve, as all previous editions have, as an invaluable resource about art in the United States today.

The curators of the 2024 Whitney Biennial, Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli, are both known for genre-defying, boundary-pushing thematic exhibitions. A thematically organized image section reflecting the work of artists in the Biennial is followed by entries about each artist—an approach that encourages readers to draw connections between the work of different artists. A collaborative essay by Iles and Onli presents their thinking behind the exhibition, while essays by curators and scholars Eva Hayward and Amber Jamilla Musser surface specific themes.

Buy now

Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing is presented by

The exhibition is also sponsored by

     

     

Generous support is provided by Judy Hart Angelo; The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; David Cancel and Family; Lise and Michael Evans; Kevin, Rosemary, and Hannah Rose McNeely; the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation; The Rosenkranz Foundation; Marcia Dunn and Jonathan Sobel; and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Major support is provided by The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund.

Significant support is provided by the 2024 Biennial Committee Co-Chairs: Sarah Arison, Paul Arnhold, Jill Bikoff, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Miyoung Lee, Joel Lubin, Michael Kassan, and George Wells; 2024 Biennial Committee members: Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul, Alexandre and Lori Chemla, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, Deepa Kumaraiah and Sean Dempsey, Sheree and Jerry Friedman, Further Forward Foundation, Ashley Leeds and Christopher Harland, the Kapadia Equity Fund, Dawn and David Lenhardt, the McCallum Family, Orentreich Family Foundation, Nancy and Fred Poses, Jonathan M. Rozoff, Katherine Sachs, Alice and Manu Sareen, Annette and Paul Smith, and Patricia J. Villareal and Thomas S. Leatherbury; and Susan and Matthew Blank, James Keith (JK) Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Jung and Nelson Chai, Jill Cowan and Stephen Davis, Martha and Paddy Farrell, Melanie Shorin and Greg S. Feldman, Charlotte Feng Ford, Cindy and Mark Galant, Christy and Bill Gautreaux, Debra and Jeffrey Geller Family Foundation, Judelson Family Foundation, Peter H. Kahng, Cathy M. Kaplan, Lisa H. Kim and Eunu Chun, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Iris Z. Marden, Marjorie Mayrock, Shelley and David Sonenberg, Gloria H. Spivak, Jackson Tang, and anonymous donors.

Biennial funding is also provided by endowments created by Melva Bucksbaum, Emily Fisher Landau, Leonard A. Lauder, and Fern and Lenard Tessler as well as the Adam D. Weinberg Artists First Fund.

Curatorial research and travel for this exhibition were funded by an endowment established by Rosina Lee Yue and Bert A. Lies, Jr., MD.

New York magazine is the exclusive media sponsor.

The Whitney Biennial and the Hyundai Terrace Commission are a multiyear partnership with Hyundai Motor. The Hyundai Terrace Commission is an annual site-specific installation on the Whitney Museum’s fifth-floor outdoor gallery.


More from this series

Learn more about the Whitney Biennial, the longest-running survey of American art.