Transcript excerpt of a two-minute section from the 8-minute interview in which Francesco Bonami, chief curator of the 2010 Whitney Biennial, speaks about O’Grady’s piece and the room it shared with Bruce High Quality Foundation.
by Francesco Bonami, 2010
TRANSCRIPT: section 4:55-7:00 of Interview with Francesco Bonami (8:10), vernissage.tv.
Francesco Bonami: It’s not a huge show, it’s not the biggest show I ever curated, but maybe it’s the most important for me because it’s transformed me from an outsider when I came here 27 years ago into. . . I don’t want to say a true American, but into part of this big thing that is very strange to define, that is an American concept. . . part of “The American Dream.” It may be banal and a little bit soppy in sound. But for an outsider to curate the biennial of American art is a bit of a dream come true.
I can NOT pick a specific work, each work has a function in the show. I can pick a ROOM, the room on the fourth floor with Bruce High Quality Foundation, a group of artists that work collectively.
They have this car with a film made of a patchwork of American images and with a text written by them on America as a lover. It is a love story without a happy ending.
And next. . . and in front of it, there is a work by the LEAST young artist in the show, Lorraine O’Grady, an Afro-American artist who makes a very interesting comparison between Michael Jackson and Charles Baudelaire, the French poet. . . looking at them as two fathers of different kinds of modernity—Baudelaire, for what is the Western world, and Michael Jackson, for pop culture and Afro-American culture in America—and yet, Lorraine O’Grady looks very young. The worlds of the two artists touch, become one thing, the past and the present become one thing.
I think this is a room that in some way summarizes the spirit of this exhibition.
© 2009 Lorraine O'Grady | All rights reserved.