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2010 Biennial Video Series

Whitney Museum of American Art
Produced by Pierce Jackson and the Whitney Museum of American Art. This in-house project was created by a Whitney production team led by Alexandra Nemerov and included Kathryn Potts, Sarah Meller, Jeffrey Levine, and Sarah Hromack.

The Whitney Biennial is the Museum’s signature exhibition of contemporary American art. The exhibition presents work that is new and untested and has long inspired both curiosity and controversy.  For the 2010 Biennial, the Whitney launched an online video channel with the goals of documenting the process of creating the exhibition and providing an interpretive framework with which to view it. The channel features exclusive access and content related to five main areas of the 2010 exhibition: artists, curators, production, performances, and parties. There will be 35 videos produced in total.


These videos represent an unprecedented degree of collaboration with the exhibition’s artists. Unlike traditional artist interviews, the videos offer the chance to see the artist up-close and to intimately engage with their practice, on their own terms. For example, we meet artist Aki Sasamoto at a Brooklyn coffee shop where she discusses some of the questions and concepts she explores in her Biennial performance; we visit Ari Marcopoulos at his home to play FIFA 10, a soccer videogame popular in the youth culture he represents in his work.   Over the course of the series, twenty artists will be represented.


The videos also offer viewers direct access to the curatorial process behind the 2010 Biennial. Each “curator” video offers an answer to a specific question, such as “What is the Whitney Biennial?,” “How did you choose the artists?,” and “What happens after you’ve selected the artists?” These videos are released at relevant moments prior to, and after the opening of the exhibition. For example, The List featured both curators playfully reading the names of the artists in 2010 and was circulated in conjunction with the press release announcing this year’s Biennial artists.


Working closely with the Museum’s Registration Department, the “production” videos offer behind-the-scenes access to the making of the exhibition. These videos include footage of the installation of labor-intensive works of art (such as welding together Robert Grosvenor’s large steel sculpture on-site), interviews with artists in the midst of their installation, and documentation of how an entire gallery floor comes together, from start to finish.


Performance is an essential component of the 2010 exhibition and the video format is able to successfully capture the ephemeral and temporal nature of this type of work. Short-form videos translate critical moments quickly and effectively—presenting relevant content to our audience online as it happens on-site. These videos will reflect the nature of an artist’s Biennial performance. Some videos will feature documentation of a particular moment in a performance, while others may feature clips of a series of events arranged by an artist over the course of the exhibition.


“Party” videos will feature all-access footage from the opening events, in a “roving reporter” style. The series will include a video of the Biennial opening from the perspective of the exhibition’s youngest artist—23-year-old Tam Tran.


These videos are being released online in the multimedia section of the Whitney’s recently re-launched website at The series allows for sustained interest and opportunities to reach audiences beyond the scope of the Whitney’s website via YouTube, iTunes, and viral re-posting to various blogs. The videos have already proven to be an effective marketing tool. For example, “The List” video attracted over 15,000 views in the first month it was posted.

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