Whitney Press Release Pranksters Strike Again

by Whitney Kimball on May 24, 2012 Newswire

Illustration of Renzo Piano's plan for the new Whitney Museum, overlooking the High Line. (Image via: inhabitat.com)

The Guerilla website franchisers over at Whitney2012.org have issued another mock announcement under the guise of the Whitney. It’s a doozy. The fake museum claims they’ve taken control of the fake site, in order to preserve the honor of their sponsors.

This comes as a reaction to news of the Whitney’s recent actual request for donations from blue-chip artists of work valued over $500,000. The works will be sold at Sotheby’s this November to support its upcoming downtown move and Sotheby’s is a major sponsor. Fundraising for the move is aimed at $720 million.

The Whitney’s mock voice has its hammier moments, with polarizing language which makes it hard to imagine a Whitney Museum administrator taking seriously. Names like “Chairman Simone Franc” and “Count de Monet,” set the tone at farce. Sentences like, “The boardroom is the inviolate sanctuary of the one percent and the Museum cannot allow its mirror shine to be tarnished any further by the dirty boots of workers” nearly evoke eye rolling.

This is too bad, because it takes away from other passages that baldly communicate what the museum is doing by pairing with Sotheby’s.   “The Museum is pleased to continue to do business with Sotheby’s after their generous sponsorship of this year’s Biennial, and unreservedly supports Sotheby’s attempt to break the union of its art handlers by locking them out of their jobs.” reads an opening line in the release. If we lived in a better world, that would just be satire. Today, it’s a statement of fact.


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