PRINT March 2010


Hans Haacke’s “Weather, or Not”

THE NAME HANS HAACKE has become synonymous with institutional critique. And with good reason—Haacke pioneered a singularly acute practice in which the economic and political conditions of art’s marketing and display function as an aesthetic medium. In this regard, his MoMA Poll of 1970 is exemplary: The artist asked museum visitors whether “the fact that Governor Rockefeller has not denounced President Nixon’s Indochina policy [would] be a reason for you not voting for him in November.” The question was far from innocent, given the Rockefeller family’s prominent role as founders and patrons of the Museum of Modern Art. As in many of Haacke’s projects, aesthetics were reinvented as sociological methods: “If ‘yes’ please cast your ballot into the left box; if ‘no’ into the right box,” the wall text instructed. The results of the poll were clearly visible, since ballots accumulated in two

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