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Nina Berman's photos headed to the Whitney Biennial! and other news

Evidence & Fantasy logoOur season is over, and next week we’ll be taking down our photography show, “Evidence & Fantasy: Militarism in American Life,” by Nina Berman.

I’ve passed by these photographs almost daily for the past four months, but they’ve lost none of their power; if anything, my growing familiarity with the photographs as physical and visual objects makes them that much more stunning when I take a moment or two and really look, identifying with the wounded and disfigured soldiers as human beings and not just a collection of pixels, for the hundred-and-nteenth time. I’ll be sad to see it go (though next season’s art show should be great too; stay tuned!).

So I was thrilled to learn that Nina’s work has been selected for inclusion in the Whitney Museum‘s upcoming 2010 biennial show of new American art. This is, apparently, a big deal in the art world and beyond: Wikipedia’s (not always trustworthy) authoritative voice says the Biennial is “generally regarded as one of the leading shows in the art world, often setting or leading trends in contemporary art.” Cool. (The show’s up 2/25/2010 – 5/30/2010, at 945 Madison Ave. on the upper East side of Manhattan.)

We’ll be taking down and packaging up the “Homeland” photographs next week, to be sent to The Whitney. “Purple Hearts” and “Marine Wedding,” which are the photos on display in our downstairsunderground gallery, apparently haven’t been invited. (Nina can only bring one series of work, and even though we’ve exhibited them together, these photographs were really taken and originally intended as separate projects.)

Here’s a selection of photographs from “Homeland” which may or may not be showing at the Whitney in 2010!

Homeland photo 1 - smallHomeland photo 2 - small

Homeland photo 3 - smallHomeland photo 4 - small


The Biennial’s curators put together a self-important but somewhat silly video announcing the 55 artists selected this year, included here for your viewing pleasure:



And here’s another video from the Whitney Biennial curators, discussing what they think of the show:

Here’s what the New York Times has to say about the show:

The 2010 edition of the Whitney Biennial — that giant survey of American art on the Upper East Side of Manhattan — will not only try to chronicle current goings-on in contemporary art, but it will also reflect the world at large. Thus, in these recessionary times, the show will be smaller than it has been in recent years, with just 55 artists, down from 81 in 2008 and 100 in 2006. …

In a change from past years, the curators have limited each artist to one work or series, so that the Biennial will feel more like a snapshot of the state of art rather than a succession of mini-retrospectives.


In other Nina Berman news, the NOOR photography collective, which Nina’s a member of, has been exhibiting its new project, “Consequences,” in Copenhagen starting December 7. In their own words,

From the frontiers of climate change comes Consequences by NOOR. Featuring the work of nine, internationally acclaimed photographers, this exhibition documents the devastating effects of climate change around the globe. These stunning photographs show not what might happen in the future but what is happening today.


One of Nina’s latest projects is on the destruction of forests in British Columbia by the invasive pine beetles, worsened by climate change-induced drought. Some of the photographs are collected, with music, text, and narration by Nina, in this video released in November by NOOR:

OK! I think this post is long enough! Let me just finish by saying that NOOR’s Consequences blog is fantastic, featuring photos and links to the press its artists and works have been receiving lately. Highly recommended:

— chris g.