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Whitney Biennial’s Sponsors Sacked Due to Artist Exploitation… Well, Not Really.

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

The Whitney Biennial web occupation
by Matt Seaton
Tuesday 28 February 2012

An artful web hoax announced the sacking of the Whitney Biennial’s corporate sponsors and apologised to artists for their exploitation. So whodunnit?

This week, the Whitney Museum in New York City gives over most of its exhibition space for its 2012 Biennial, showcasing the work of more than 50 contemporary artists. As in previous years, the Biennial is sponsored by Deutsche Bank and art auctioneers Sotheby’s. The co-curators of the show, Elizabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, describe some of their criteria for inclusion:

“Artists are bringing other artists into their work – a form of free collage or reinvention that borrows from the culture at large as a way of rewriting the standard narratives and exposing more relevant hybrids. There is also the radical production of new forms, fabrication on a more modest scale. Artists are constantly redefining what an artist can be at this moment and this Biennial celebrates that fact.”

An unknown number of artists/activists – with notably good web skills – took this brief of reinventing and borrowing for the purpose of rewriting the Biennial’s “standard narrative” a few steps further than the Whitney had anticipated. (more…)