New York

the Whitney Biennial film/video program

Whitney Museum of American Art

By and large, the Whitney Biennial’s cinematic program, a Whitman’s Sampler of film and video work, represents all that is or has been fashionable within the last three years; quality runs a distant second. The curators have gathered up an impressive bouquet of almost-clichés from the fertile no-man’s-land between the art world, the commercial fringe of Indiedom, and the avant-garde: the enshrinement of the outsider (Harmony Korine, Gummo, 1998; Errol Morris, Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, 1997; Yvonne Welbon, Living with Pride, 1999), the inherent abnormality of the supposedly normal (Rolf Belgum, Driver 23, 1998; Les LeVeque, 2 Spellbound, 1999), the ephemeral as the ultimate repository of truth (Nathaniel Dorsky, Variations, 1992-98; Jem Cohen, Instrument, 1999; Walid Ra’ad, The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs, 1998), the surface as point of historical entry (Elisabeth Subrin, Shulie,

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