Reporters Valentina Di Liscia and Hakim Bishara join me to discuss the Whitney Museum’s decision to cancel the exhibition Collective Actions: Artist Interventions In a Time of Change, which was scheduled to open on September 17.
They both reported on the story this Tuesday, and now offer their own insights into the larger questions raised by this controversy, including how museums should collect, what role should artists have in the acquisition process, and if museums are getting better or worse at dealing with issues of racial and economic equity in their collections.
This episode will get you up to speed about the fast-moving story and what it tells us about the Whitney and other contemporary museums today.
A special thanks to Tyler James Bellinger for providing his track “Champagne” for this week’s episode. You can visit Apple Music or YouTube, for more information.
Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Art Movements on iTunes, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
The Women Artists Commemorated on an NYC Sidewalk
The signatures of Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, and six other historical women artists are engraved on a small stretch of sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Met Museum Repatriates 15 Objects to India
The sculptures were all at one point sold by the disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Placed on Russian “Wanted” List
Tolokonnikova has long been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Great story. Systemic change must also include museums. White male predominantly have exhibited, curated, archived, purchased, written about and made the art that we have seen in the museums for centuries. I didn’t realize they they have also decided why art even exists, why we make art and what constitutes art…when in reality this is something that relates to the human experience.
You raised some very good questions. The one that you didn’t raise was the question of access. The Whitney leads the pack on admission fees. If the exhibition went forward as planned – on site and not virtual – it was unclear whether the artwork, created to raise funds within struggling communities, was now to be accessed for a fee that would benefit … whom? A single museum?
For many – especially now – access to museum exhibitions is unaffordable and therefore exist outside the cultural interactions of most people. They risk irrelevancy unless access is re-structured.
Great reporting and podcast. It sounds like, aside from not buying directly and contacting the artists directly, the museum should have made clear that it was an archival show not an art exhibition like An Incomplete History of Protest which they organized a while back. Museum archivists organize shows at other museums, such as MoMA, drawing from archival and library collections. The Whitney could have looked at the V&A’s Disobedient Object show where there was a blog with information about activists that produced materials included. Another problem is that artists are relegated to documentary shows and not art exhibitions. And what about the producers, do all consider themselves artists?
Comments are closed.