New York

the Whitney Biennial 1995: Film and Video

Whitney Museum of American Art

Founded in 1970, some 40 years after the Whitney Biennial itself, the film-and-video section could easily be called an afterthought or, as another critic recently put it, a “sideshow.” It doesn’t take long to grasp the distinguishing dimensions of the Biennial’s main exhibition as compared to its film-and-video section: one flows, if not overflows, through the entire space of the museum; the other has time on its side, changing its look every other day until June 18. Technically one cannot even visit the film-and-video section: you either flirt with it, checking out whatever program is currently showing, or you court it, continually returning until both spectator and spectacle are exhausted. Not unlike those that have preceded it, this Biennial’s selection of film and video enjoys the contradictions of its own terms: confined to a single room, it is freed up from the scrutiny of both public

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