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The Whitney Biennial 2024, titled “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” heralds a new chapter in contemporary art, opening its doors on March 20. This edition, the eighty-first in the Biennial’s storied history, will feature seventy-one artists and collectives, each bringing unique perspectives and narratives to the forefront.

Curated by Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli, the Biennial is a testament to the Whitney’s commitment to exploring the evolving landscape of modern art. The exhibition is poised to delve into the intricacies of identity, societal changes, and the concept of ‘the real’ in the age of artificial intelligence and critical discussions about identity. This theme resonates with the current societal inflection point where digital and physical realities intersect and challenge our notions of what is real.

The Biennial will not just be an exhibition of visual art but a comprehensive sensory experience, boasting robust performance and film programs. These programs, organized by Iles, Onli, and guest curators including Taja Cheek, Korakrit Arunanondchai, asinnajaq, Greg de Cuir Jr, and Zackary Drucker, aim to provide a diverse and immersive exploration of the themes at hand. The artists’ works will reflect on and challenge the fluidity of identity and form, offering reflections on historical and current land stewardship, and concepts of embodiment.

The lineup of artists is as diverse as their mediums, ensuring a wide array of voices and perspectives. The list includes Siku Allooloo, Holland Andrews, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, and many others, each contributing to a rich tapestry of artistic expression. Their works promise to spark discussion and offer new ways of seeing and understanding our world.

The Whitney Biennial has long been a barometer for contemporary art in America, often controversial and always influential. This year’s theme of ‘the real’ is particularly pertinent in an era where digital technology is increasingly blurring the lines between reality and simulation. The exhibition seeks to question and expand the viewer’s understanding of reality, challenging them to consider new perspectives and ideas.

In a statement, the curators expressed their excitement for the exhibition, noting the privilege of working with incredible artists to shape the 2024 Biennial. Their goal is to create a thematic exhibition that not only showcases the talents of the participating artists but also sparks meaningful conversations about the state of art and society.

The 2024 Whitney Biennial promises to be a groundbreaking event, offering a glimpse into the future of art. As we approach the exhibition’s opening, the art world eagerly anticipates what these artists will bring to the table and how their works will resonate with and reflect our current times. The Biennial is not just an exhibition; it is a mirror reflecting the complexities and nuances of our rapidly changing world.


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