whitney museum of american art

Lucas Blalock in Whitney Biennial

An Other Shadow  ©Lucas Blalock

An Other Shadow ©Lucas Blalock

A broad range of projects and artists will be presented at this year's Whitney Biennial, including MFA Photo/Video faculty member Lucas Blalock. The 2019 Whitney Biennial will run from May 17 through September 22 with seventy-nine artists directly engaging with dance, performance, and the space of social engagement and critique.

The artists selected for the 2019 edition, ranging from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives, are working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.

Blalock will create a mural-sized photographic work to be exhibited on the façade of 95 Horatio Street, located opposite the Museum and across from the southern entrance to the High Line, on the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

The Whitney Biennial's curators traveled throughout the country and made more than 300 studio visits over the past year. A small number of the artists in the exhibition are Canadian, several are based in Puerto Rico, and a number were born abroad or now live and work outside the U.S.

The House Guest  ©Lucas Blalock

The House Guest ©Lucas Blalock

Lucas Blalock was born in Asheville, North Carolina and now lives and works in New York. Citing the poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht’s insistence on a theater that reveals its labor, Blalock is interested in revealing the process behind photographic images. Equally invested in both the history and the possibility of photography, Blalock shoots with a large-format camera on film and then scans his images in order to digitally alter them.

Eva & Franco Mattes' "Riccardo Uncut" on view through The Whitney Museum

For Riccardo Uncut, MFA Photo/Video faculty and renown artists Eva and Franco Mattes posted a call on social media, offering to buy someone's phone for $1,000 in order to turn the photo and video contents into an art project—an uncut and uncensored portrait of someone's life. The project is currently on view at The Whitney Museum's online database.

still from  Riccardo Uncut

still from Riccardo Uncut

Accessible to the public as a customized, chronological slideshow, Riccardo Uncut gives viewers a unique glimpse into the personal life of Riccardo, the chosen applicant. The archive consists of approximately 3,000 images taken between 2004–2017 that include documentation of travels and vacations, friends and family, partners and sexual desire, daily life at home, office dynamics, food, art, architecture, and artistic endeavors.

Riccardo Uncut was inspired by the questions, “How do we construct our digital memory?” and “Is there still such a thing as a ‘private photo?’” Social media create a perfect arena for re-creating the self as a lifestyle brand, performing a daily me, an idealized version of ourselves. With Riccardo Uncut the Mattes investigate where one might find authenticity in self-representation and an unedited version of the self.

Infamous Italian artist duo Eva and Franco Mattes are best known for their subversive and innovative new media work, which exposes various ethical and political ramifications of the Internet as both reality and theory. Often going by the pseudonym 0100101110101101.org, they are hackers, activists, and some of the originators of Net Art. Large scale projects include Stolen Pieces, in which the Mattes’ stole fragments from fifty famous artworks over the course of two years and displayed them in a glass cabinet, Darko Maver, a fictionalized radical Serbian artist with gruesome work, and Portraits, which took place within the virtual computer game Second Life. Deeply committed to the concept of audience experience and interaction, the Mattes’ continue to explore the dark quality of human nature in the realm of online media.

To hear the Mattes' speak about Riccardo Uncut and for a short preview of the work, please watch the video below: