Karyn Olivier | Stop Gap, How Many Ways Can You Disappear | 2024 Whitney Biennial | Artist Interview

May 31, 2024

Karyn Olivier’s work often examines loss and absence, signaled here in the weathered elements of her sculptures, including driftwood, buoys, worn clothing, broken traps, and commercial fishing rope. The artist selects these objects for their symbolism, as well as for the histories they carry, bringing past into present. Stop Gap, the title of one work presented here, packs clothing discarded by its wearers into the fork of a tree limb washed up by the sea, calling to mind for Olivier the distances crossed by many enslaved people throughout history. It speaks to the precarity of dangerous journeys and temporary fixes. In How Many Ways Can You Disappear, fishing detritus has lost its function but retains the sea, embedded in its snarled lines and in the new rope that dangles above it, which Olivier cast by hand from salt. Salt in this piece invokes a memory of the work’s oceanic origin but also of the practice of trading salt for enslaved people in Ancient Greece. 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. See the full artist list and learn more at https://whitney.org/exhibitions/2024-biennial. Book tickets here: https://whitney.org/tickets #whitneybiennial #contemporaryart #whitneymuseum #karynolivier #stopgap #howmanywayscanyoudisappear #sculpture #installation #installationart #artistinterviews #artistinterview #2024whitneybiennial