Jordan Wolfson's virtual reality work Real Violence (2017) is being presented for the first time in the 2017 Whitney Biennial curated by Mia Locks and Christopher Lew. The exhibition is on view through June 11.
Wolfson pulls intuitively from contemporary technology, advertising, and digital culture to produce ambitious and enigmatic narratives that often feature animated characters. Real Violence reflects the artist's interest in states of interaction between the viewer and the work, in particular as they are activated by the gaze.
This is the 78th edition of the biennial and the first to be held at the Whitney Museum building on Gansevoort Street in lower Manhattan.
JORDAN WOLFSON: MANIC / LOVE / TRUTH / LOVE presented works spanning several years of the artist's practice in a two-part exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam—Wolfson's first solo exhibition in The Netherlands.
The first part, MANIC / LOVE, featured the large scale animatronic installation Colored sculpture (2016) as well as a selection of wall-mounted digital paintings and video works including Raspberry Poser (2012). The protagonist of Colored sculpture is the painted figure of a boy reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn or Howdy Doody, whose puppet-like body is suspended with heavy chains from a large mechanized gantry that is programmed to choreograph his movements. At times, Percy Sledge's 1966 hit song When a Man Loves a Woman plays as the figure is drawn around, hoisted and dropped to the floor. Through facial recognition technology, the sculpture is also able to lock eyes with audience members.
The second part of the exhibition, TRUTH / LOVE, presented Wolfson's animatronic sculpture Female figure (2014). The work, which was first presented at David Zwirner in New York in 2014 in the artist's first exhibition with the gallery, combines film, installation, and performance in the figure of a curvaceous, scantily clad woman covered in dirt marks and wearing a witch mask. In the gallery and at the Stedelijk Museum, Female figure was encountered by a limited number of visitors at one time. Like Colored sculpture, Female figure reflects the artist's interest in states of interaction between the viewer and his work, in particular as they are activated by the gaze.