The Whitney Biennial, 2017 (Catching up with the Past Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting)

Want to know what these people are looking at?  We’re in New York at the Whitney Biennial in March, and it’s hard to know whether to look up, down, out, or over.

Samara Golden - The Meat Grinder's Iron Clothes, 2017 Whitney Biennial, NYC

Samara Golden – The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, 2017 Whitney Biennial, NYC

Here’s a view from the platform —

Samara Golden - The Meat Grinder's Iron Clothes, 2017 Whitney Biennial, NYC

Samara Golden – The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, 2017 Whitney Biennial

You can tell this is a huge and site-specific installation, but even standing there in it, I couldn’t tell exactly how many floors were part of it and how many were illusions. The sky was down, or was it up? The traffic was up (and down) and the Hudson River was out (wasn’t it?). To each side were floors of sculpted interiors – with stratified layers of furniture, office, and institutional space, some nightmarish. Were they all even right-side up? I don’t think so.

Samara Golden - The Meat Grinder's Iron Clothes, 2017 Whitney Biennial

The clouds and the traffic, along with the occasional helicopter, provided movement. It was hypnotic. With so much going on, I didn’t take in the social commentary until I read about it. Not unusual, since I’m all about the visual when it comes to looking at art.

Like many recent exhibitions, this year’s Whitney Biennial was strong on social concerns. Suffice it to say that those layers were meant to provoke thoughts of social as well as visual stratification, referring to inequality and our political climate. I’ll share more images from this year’s exhibition in future posts.

How about it – do you look for the social implications or for the visual when you’re reflecting on art?

 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

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4 thoughts on “The Whitney Biennial, 2017 (Catching up with the Past Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting)

  1. I like the incredible views of the sky and mirrored images framed by the architecture in your photos. When I look at art the visuals strike me immediately and I like to take in an individual artist’s vision. Then I try to think about the context in which it was created. The period of history and cultural associations are just as important as the aesthetics. Art can take you to so many places in your mind.

    • I’ve been reading a book called Visual Intelligence – Sharpen your Perception, Change your Life, that is for training people how to see and perceive more details of their environment by practicing on looking at art. It’s almost cheating though, because many of the examples are pieces that I’ve already spent time looking at. Still, it’s an interesting exercise of looking at art in a different context. (looking at art is one of the main reasons I love to travel)

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