Dave McKenzie: Disturbing the View
May 21, 2021
Dave McKenzie’s new work, Disturbing the View, is a Whitney-commissioned performance that draws inspiration from the entrepreneurial window washers common in many American cities. McKenzie (b. 1977) choreographed a circuitous path around the Museum using the building’s facade as a canvas and obscuring individual windows. As he progressed, the artist inserted himself into the Museum’s daily rhythms, at times visible or hidden from sight, momentarily disrupting the view and prompting observers to consider essential labor that is often invisible.
This performance was accompanied by Dave McKenzie: The Story I Tell Myself, a focused presentation on the Museum’s third floor in which McKenzie’s performances for the camera and documentation of his live art were contextualized alongside works by artists who have informed the concepts, gestures, and sensibilities in his art. Together the performance commission and exhibition span twenty years of McKenzie’s creative output, illuminating both the seriousness of play in his artmaking and how he engaged with and questions ideas, images, and language using his principal tool—his own body.