lundi 10 mars 2008
la Biennale du Whitney 2008 (3)
C'est le tour à Peter Schjeldahl, critique vétéran très respecté du New Yorker:
"This year’s Whitney Biennial, the most poetic I can remember, feels mildly unhappy and restlessly alert. If it were a sound, it would be the muttering of a cast awaiting the inexplicably delayed rise of a curtain. The show confirms impressions of a new, gray mood among younger artists, one at odds with the recent prevalence in international art of both commercial glitz and festivalist brass. Call it a decline in producer confidence. Who is making art? For whom? Why? As usual at the Biennial, few good answers are in evidence. But, for once, bad answers prove almost as elusive. The show is conventionally anti-conventional, like most of the world’s biennials, in its emphasis on installations and videos and its paucity of painting in particular and of traditional mediums in general. Its strongest suit is certain types of sculpture that have flourished lately—the same assembled, shaggy varieties that dominate “Unmonumental,” the inaugural, solid show of the New Museum, downtown. Yet this Biennial is remarkably free of forced ideas, despite an occasional appeal to ecological virtue. It is full of busy ingenuities that smack of art school—but of art-school studios, not seminars. Two decades of academic postmodernizing have trailed off into embarrassed silence. One of the show’s curators, Henriette Huldisch, writing in the catalogue, borrows a title of Samuel Beckett’s to characterize the Zeitgeist: “Lessness.” Not less is more. Less is all—get with it. (Good old Beckett, the never-fail appliance for glamorizing malaise.) I favor being encouraged. There isn’t a lot in the show to like very much, but the over-all tenor puts me in mind of the “aridity” that, according to another exigent author, John of the Cross, is a key stage in the “dark night of the soul,” preceding redemption. Even if little comes of it, the drama of this state—a sort of exasperated modesty—will etch the 2008 Biennial in memory."
Il évoque particulièrement Ruben Ochoa ("Imagine a stranger who has forgotten his name and importunes you, on the off chance that you know it. It is an awkward moment, but he is a pleasant stranger. "), Charles Long ("Bizarre in the mind while lovely in the eye, they make for another odd halt, marked by mutual, cordial incomprehension.") et Rachel Harrison ("the leading light of new sculpture").
Peu de peintres, mais bien choisis selon lui: Mary Heilmann ("new pictures that are challengingly woozy, even for her, broadcast a smiling sympathy with the show’s bravely irresolute youngsters"), Karen Kilimnik ("confused feelings are a problem only if you insist on making them one"), Robert Bechtle ("a stony refusal to believe that we ever know what we see, put to a test of things—dull houses, parked cars—that seem too obvious to merit even passing attention").
"Several artists work with architectural elements on an architectural scale, in quizzical and anxious ways—as if asking, What is this place?" (ex. Lisa Sigal)
"So many melancholy characters roam the screens of the show’s video projections that you’re apt to contract the existential blues, too."
ex. Harry Dodge & Stanya Kahn, Omer Fast, Olaf Breuning, Amy Granat & Drew Heitzler ("this Biennial’s signature piece")
"In the Biennial’s aesthetic background is a burbling, flimsy abundance of collaborative and participatory activities. (...) they are harmless enough, and they do reinforce a Beckettian motive of, having nothing to do, doing something."
ex.: Rashawn Griffin