People always come to a Biennial with questions. What is the state of American art, and is this it? Who will make the cut, and who will be left out? These questions get people upset, because they frame inclusions and exclusions in terms of institutional power, and Biennials can assert that power in one of two ways. They can claim to have it all, or they can stake a point of view. One of this year's curators, the Whitney's Elisabeth Sussman, sure had one in 1993, a stridently political Biennial that angered pretty much everyone.
As the Biennial is charged with reflecting or describing the current cultural context in America, it must address the change that is at hand.Andrea Fraser has once again taken center stage, however this time with her essay, “L’1%, C’est Moi,” written for the Berlin-based publication Texte Zur Kunst.
Elisabeth Sussman (co-organizer of the influential, politically provocative 1993 Whitney Biennial) and Jay Sanders provide an insightful joint essay, and a group of art historians and critics contribute entries on common themes and ideas from the represented artists' techniques and influences.