Last night’s VIP reception of the 2012 Whitney Biennial was an interdisciplinarily classy affair, studded from stars from the art, music, and film worlds. Biennial artist Dawn Kasper, who — in a tour de force of durational Performo-Sculpture — installed herself and all her personal belongings in the museum, chatted with lookalike DJ duo Andrew & Andrew, both outfitted in hipster standard issue gingham and tweed. Coco Fusco kept scholarly company with academics Columbia prof (and Pacific Standard Time curator) Kellie Jones and ethnomusicologist Guthrie Ramsey. Former of R.E.M front man Michael Stipe was enthralled by Lutz Bacher's pipe organ. Hailing from the parallel universe of film were funnylady Parker Posey and indie darling Paul Dano. Werner Herzog was spotted reading his own wall text.
Sartorial choices ran the gamut from chic to absurd. Posey looked chic in a draped cocktail dress. Biennial artist LaToya Ruby Frazier was dressed to the nines in blue sequins. Provocotrice Georgia Sagri wore the flesh-colored jacket with nipple appliques from her performance to the event. Chuck Close wore a top hat.
While art world luminaries and hangers-on rang in the WhiBi with champagne and bons mots, some dozen protesters demonstrated outside, inveighing against the Sotheby’s cooperate sponsorship of the show. The protestors — a joint coalition of various activist groups including Occupy Museums, Occupy Sotheby’s, OWS’s Arts & Labor working group, and the Teamsters — chanted the slogan, “Shame on Sotheby’s, No Justice, No Peace!” and spoke to partygoers about economic inequality in the art world.
To see pictures of the Whitney's VIP opening, click on the slide show.