I don't have a whole lot to say about the Whitney Biennial. Overall it wasn't a very good show (as a lot of other critics have pointed out), with many of the paintings looking not unlike ones you often see getting hawked at Eastern Market, except maybe with more penises, and several pieces requiring you to read the accompanying exhibition text in order to appreciate them. Raw materials were seldom disguised. If a support beam was used to hold up a sculpture, for example, it was not sanded or carved in any way, but appeared as though it was hauled directly into the museum from Home Depot. ("I have those glasses at home," my friend remarked upon seeing a hanging installation made out of IKEA-esque glassware, which is probably not the response the artist was going for when making her piece).
But the curator's statements were by far the worst things in the show, just begging you to roll your eyes before even setting foot in the galleries. They were perfect examples of everything that's wrong with the way the art world talks, a mess of convoluted nonsense that falls apart the moment you attempt to take it seriously; the kind of writing a college freshman would crank out at the last minute, hoping the professor won't bother to ask any follow-up questions. It may seem petty to get up in arms about a few paragraphs, but this kind of thing rankles me, especially when it's done by prestigious institutions. As I whined about before, I see universally-accepted bad art prose as downright harmful to artists and just plain annoying to everyone else.
Anyhow, my companion and I later amused ourselves over beers by editing them for clarity, pictured below: