Yes, you read that right! It’s amazing and it’s true. I submitted my work to an open call for the arts activist group, Occupy Museums (born out of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011) for their project, Debtfair which acutely addresses the subject of artists’ debt. (Yes, I am in debt – you probably are too! No shade, just reality.) Occupy Museums has been chosen to exhibit Debtfair at this year’s Whitney Biennial – and my work will be included (digitally displayed in the Debtfair installation) along with a group of other participating artists. Here’s some information about Debtfair:
Debtfair is a means of exposing the hidden layer of debt within the art market and its institutions, making the relationship between art practice and American financial reality visible. All artists who apply through this open call will be featured on a revamped debtfair.org and their work will be shown on digital screens in the museum; 30 artists who are indebted to the same institutions will have their work exhibited inside of the Debtfair installation in the Whitney Museum.
We believe that the practices of painting, sculpture, performance, video, music, and conceptual practice lie at the core of a progressive democratic society. Yet artists and culture workers face evermore extractive economic burdens as economic inequality widens. In this project we want to highlight inspiring artwork and communities of artists to push back on the feelings of shame and alienation that debt often elicits.
As part of the Debtfair project we have selected 30 artists who share common economic conditions who will have their work installed in the museum. All 500 + artists who participated in the Debtfair Open Call will have their work digitally displayed as part of the installation which opens March 17th 2017.
Artists Directly Affected by Puerto Rican Debt Crisis (First Bank of Puerto Rico and Banco Popular)
Nibia Pastrana Santiago
Artists in Debt to Navient Corporation
Felicia D. Megginson
Joe Bun Keo
Artists in Debt to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Jason Christopher Childers
For more information about Occupy Museums and Debtfair, you can find their Manifesto. here.
Mar 17–June 11, 2017
The formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. The exhibition includes sixty-three participants, ranging from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.
The Whitney Biennial is the longest running survey of contemporary art in the United States, with a history of exhibiting the most promising and influential artists and provoking lively debate. The 2017 Biennial is the Museum’s seventy-eighth in a continuous series of Annual and Biennial exhibitions initiated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932. It is the first to be held in the Whitney’s downtown home at 99 Gansevoort Street, and the largest ever in terms of gallery space.
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014
For directions and tickets, go here.
(Images and quotes from Occupy Museums and Whitney Museum websites)