In an interview with artinfo.com Julia Halperin talks with Whitney Biennial curators Jay Sanders and Elizabeth Sussman,
JH: Did you feel at all like you needed to respond to Occupy Wall Street in any way?
ES: …we also talked about how aestheticized you could make a movement like Occupy Wall Street. You can’t really bring it into the white cube, which is essentially what we’re talking about, changing nature, so we didn’t even try to do that. We’re delighted that we naturally got involved with Occupy Wall Street.
JH: How did you navigate potential conflicts of interest?…
of course Sussman was referring to Jay Sanders and his previous curatorial and gallery work with some of the selected artists, however in a strange alternate universe, things were to change as a day later the following appeared on the website www.whitney2012.org
2012 WHITNEY BIENNIAL TO OPEN MARCH 1;
MUSEUM BREAKS WITH TWO CORPORATE SPONSORS,
APOLOGIZES TO PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Sculpture, painting, installations, and photography—as well as dance, theater, music, and film—will fill the galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art in the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial. With a roster of artists at all points in their careers the Biennial provides a look at the current state of contemporary art in America. This is the seventy-sixth in the ongoing series of Biennials and Annuals presented by the Whitney since 1932, two years after the Museum was founded.
The Biennial will open on March 1 despite the Whitney’s recent action to return money provided by two major sponsors of the Biennial—Sotheby’s and Deutsche Bank—whose recent corporate conduct has made it impossible for the Museum to maintain a partnership with them.