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On this week’s podcast, we take a look at the 9th Berlin Biennale. Curated by the New York fashion collective DIS, the show, which runs through September 18th, has met with both ire and praise for its tech-heavy and ironic curatorial vision. Fresh from trips to Berlin, Artsy’s Molly Gottschalk and Alexander Forbes look beyond the controversy to share their thoughts on why the Berlin Biennale remains a crucial cultural touchstone. What were the highlights? Despite the criticisms, is it actually charting a new path for art amid a rapidly digitizing world? And is talking about all the reviews a distraction from the work itself?
Next, we take an expanded dive into what it means for artists to disavow their work. The Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), passed by Congress in 1990, allows artists to reject authorship of an artwork under certain circumstances. Disavowal may seem like a strange power—and it is pretty unique statute within American law. We take a look at where the idea for VARA came from and ask: Why are only some artists protected? And, moreover, what conceptual questions are raised by artists disavowing their work?
This podcast is hosted by Artsy Editorial Associate Isaac Kaplan, joined for this edition by Deputy Editor Alexander Forbes and Fairs Editor & Associate Features Editor Molly Gottschalk. It was produced by Joe Sykes with assistance from Editorial Associate Abigail Cain.
Intro music: “Something Elated” by Broke For Free
Cover image: Andrea Fraser, Museum Highlights, 1989. Image courtesy of Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.