Latino Artists Rock the Whitney Biennial

"Al Otro Lado" Feature Length Documentary 2005

Many artists at the 2008 Whitney Biennial sought to push the boundaries and definition of art, choosing events and people as mediums instead of traditional paint or sculpture. Social networking has taken front and center stage as a theme and what makes this work are the people interacting with the art and artists. This year The Biennial expanded for the first time in it's 77 year history to the Park Avenue Armory in order to accommodate many of these quirky and inventive installations. From a tequila bar to documentary film there is something for everyone at the Biennial, check it out at the Whitney Museum of American Art until June 1st, 2008! Here's a list of the Latino artists being featured this year:

Mexican-American artist Natalia Almada presents Al Otro Lado a feature documentary about border towns which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006.

Peruvian William Cordova created a wood frame structure entitled The House that Frank Lloyd Wright built 4 Fred Hampton and Mark Clark based on the blueprints of a Chicago home in which the Black Panthers were killed by police in 1969.

Coco Fusco was inspired by the photos she saw of the women at Abu Ghraib and created a video titled A Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America based on her experience of participating in the training many of these interrogators go through.

Daniel Joseph Martinez shows Divine Violence, 92 gilded wooden panels emblazoned with names of political organizations which endorse violence as a means to and end.

Ruben Ochoa used construction materials to critique class and race disparity with the installation If I had a rebar for every time someone tried to mold me.

Bert Rodriguez will be waiting on your appointment in a white cube-like structure created to mimic a therapists office. Exploring concepts such as access and privilege the artist will be talking to real people and assigning “patients” artwork projects as remedies in this performance art piece.

Los Angeles native Eduardo Sarabia will host a series of tequila bar "parties" called Salon Aleman at the Park Avenue Armory a set number of nights.

Venezuelan Javier Tellez created a 35 minute film called Letter on the Blind, For the Use of Those Who See. Startlingly simple and shot in black and white it shows a group of blind people touching different parts of an elephant.

In the site-specific installation The New Chinatown Barbershop (2006), Mario Ybarra Jr. and partner Karla Diaz turned a barbershop into an art gallery.



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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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