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“We care deeply about the Whitney. Over the years, many shows at the Museum have inspired and informed our art. We were angry when we learned of Kanders’s role as CEO of Safariland, a company that manufactures tear gas and other weapons of repression. At the time, we had already accepted your invitation to participate in the Whitney Biennial and were all well into fabrication of major pieces for this show. We found ourselves in a difficult position: withdraw in protest or stay and abide a conflicted conscience. We decided to participate.” “But the Museum’s continued failure to respond in any meaningful way to growing pressure from artists and activists has made our participation untenable. The Museum’s inertia has turned the screw, and we refuse further complicity with Kanders and his technologies of violence.”Among the eight artists to denounce the Biennale was the University of London-based research group Forensic Architecture, which uses architectural spatial analysis and forensic techniques to study human rights violations around the world. Hyperallergic reported that the studio and its partner Praxis Filmes has asked the Whitney to replace its 10-minute video Triple-Chaser, which traces the spread of tear gas and bullets through companies like Safariland, with a new film that shows incriminating evidence that Kanders is directly linked to a bullet company that’s been selling products to the Israeli Military Industry. The New York Times dually noted that Kanders’ supply of tear-gas grenades have been allegedly used during protests at not only the Israeli-Palestinian border in Gaza, but also at United States-Mexico border, in Ferguson, Missouri, and at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles both North and South Dakota.
Forensic Architecture and its founder Eyal Weizman have not commented on the news yet, but Whitney director Adam D. Weinberg, released a statement on Friday saying the museum will follow through with the artists’ requests, according to the New York Times. “The Whitney respects the opinions of all the artists it exhibits and stands by their right to express themselves freely. While the Whitney is saddened by this decision, we will of course comply with the artists’ request.” It’s unclear exactly when the pieces will be removed from the exhibition, but it will likely happen quickly as the Biennale is set to close in two months. So far, work from the remaining 67 exhibitors will stay on view in the showcase through September 22. After this article was published Forensic Architecture released an official statement on its withdrawal writing: "As a result of our findings, and in solidarity with Palestinian resistance, Forensic Architecture and Praxis Films together believe our position within the Biennial is no longer tenable. We continue to demand that Kanders is removed from his position on the Whitney’s board of trustees."
Forensic Architecture Says It Has Found Bullet Linking Whitney Vice Chair to Violence in Gaza, Withdraws from Biennial https://t.co/12GWIy4J0k— 艾未未 Ai Weiwei (@aiww) July 21, 2019
What Can Art Do?
Forensic Architecture sets a high bar at the Whitney Biennial
Crítica de Choque
"Pan Americas" conference looks at architectural relationships across a hemisphere
In light of recent reporting by @hyperallergic & protests by @decolonize_this & others, our invitation to the 2019 #WhitneyBiennial has become a challenge which unites the political & cultural dimensions of our practice. We will respond through our contribution. https://t.co/1nNG9t4QaR— Forensic Architecture (@ForensicArchi) February 27, 2019
Drawn and Quartered
Drawing Codes ironically gets the rules all wrong
At the ForeFRONT
FRONT International names artistic directors for its 2021 triennial
Krishnamurthy and Kukielski’s appointment comes on the heels of last summer’s highly successful first edition of FRONT. Themed An American City, the inaugural triennial was directed by artist and curator Michelle Grabner and presented the work of over 120 global artists. The showcase, which was held in 28 different institutions and spaces across Northeast Ohio, brought in over 90,000 visitors and $31 million for the region. The next edition of FRONT will run from July 17 through October 2, 2021.
Cleveland’s inaugural @FrontTriennial generated an estimated $31 million for the region, a study finds.The organizers hope the study will provide a benchmark for the economic impact of regional biennials. https://t.co/cB4OWRzaaL pic.twitter.com/znWiZhgyL5 — artnet (@artnet) December 17, 2018