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Dave McKenzie is part of the Whitney Biennial 2022 at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) | 06.04.-05.09.2022

Editors’ Choice

The Whitney Museum of American Art presents the eightieth edition of its flagship exhibition, the Whitney Biennial, from April 6th to September 5th, 2022. Launched in 1932 by the museum’s founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, it is the longest-running exhibition of its kind. Beginning in 1937, the museum moved to holding annual exhibitions, or Annuals. The current format – a biennial survey exhibition of works in all media – has been in place since 1973, and more than 3,600 artists have participated in a Biennial or Annual since then.

Image above: Dave McKenzie, still from test video for Listed under Accessories, 2022, Digital video, color, sound; run time unknown, courtesy of the artist; Vielmetter Los Angeles; and Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin

The Whitney Biennial 2022 presents sixty-three artists and collectives from different generations working in diverse disciplines and media. It takes advantage of the museum’s unique architecture with 6 floors and a terrace to present an exhibition that takes a look at the current state of contemporary art in America.

The Biennial’s eightieth edition is co-organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, with Gabriel Almeida Baroja, Curatorial Project Assistant, and Margaret Kross, former Senior Curatorial Assistant.

DEEDS NEWS - courtesy of Whitney Museum - Ben Gancsos - (c) 2016
Whitney Museum of American Art view, Photograph by Ben Gancsos ©2016

Dave McKenzie, who is represented by Berlin’s Galerie Barbara Wien, will also exhibit works at the 2022 Whitney Biennial, including a video.

During the pandemic, Dave McKenzie came upon an object in his studio, located in the basement of his house, that he had bought some time ago. Its purpose was to collect sawdust, although he had never used it. He began trying to fit himself into it, eventually creating and recording loosely improvised movement studies with this object—an accessory to a table saw—and others, including a pane of glass and a piece of Ikea furniture. He has explained, “I was thinking about writing and performing, and why in the year 2020 I felt the need to make a box that I could stick my head into and cry.” In his art, McKenzie is more interested in asking questions than in providing answers. As he has put it: “I am always decidedly asking ‘Why this?’ Lately I am equally interested in asking ‘Why not?’ and moving without having come up with any answer.”

DEEDS NEWS - courtesy of the artist Barbara Wien Gallery - Dave Mc Kenzie
Performance study by Dave McKenzie, 2022, Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin

Dave McKenzie (*1977 in Kingston, Jamaica) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He uses video, sculpture, performance, and installation to explore how public space and the private self are simultaneously alienated, connected, and restricted. At the heart of this practice lies a desire for interactions that lay bare the complications of social rules and obligations with which we navigate personal relationships. 


Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
NY 10014 New York


Preview days: Thursday, March 31st – Monday, April 4th 2022

Exhibition dates: Wednesday, April 6th – Monday, September 5th, 2022

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