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the SITE Santa Fe Biennial

“Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque”—the evocative title selected by Robert Storr for SITE Santa Fe’s Fifth International Biennial—might at first glance suggest a curatorial riposte to the previous installment of the New Mexico institution’s signature exhibition event, Dave Hickey’s 2001 “Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism.” After all, in its common pejorative sense, the grotesque would seem to be the antithesis of the sort of worldliness to which Hickey’s title provisionally alludes, a zone not of refinement and urbanity but of disharmony, disenfranchisement, and aberrance. Yet as with Hickey, who had often grappled with questions of beauty and the condition of the “public” before he made his show, Storr’s interest in the notion of the grotesque long predated his selection as this year’s guest curator. And, as did his predecessor, Storr saw the biennial as

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