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WHITNEY BIENNIAL 1993

Dan Cameron

UNTIL THE 1993 WHITNEY Biennial, I used to hope—and maybe, I’ll admit, even take it for granted once in a while—that my work was contributing to a process of progressive cultural transformation, and therefore to the public good. Now the verdict has come down that, as a white male dealing in artistic matters not always emphatically political, I’m actually part of the problem. Unfortunately, once I manage to assimilate this information and am on my way to becoming a better person, I’ll probably still be convinced that the ’93 Biennial was a pretty awful show.

This is the quandary: can an exhibition offer this kind of jolt to one’s sense of identity, yet still never get off the ground? In reply, I’ll offer not just an affirmative, but also an explanation that collapses both conscious and unconscious motives in the past of the show’s chief authors. Everyone is by now aware of the Biennial’s

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