Francesco Bonami Interview, “Whitney Biennial 2010”, vernissage.tv, 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.