They are not central to the social seriousness of the artists most important production, nor are they of the kind which are sought after as typical and therefore valuable.
Biographical information not givenIn the 2017 Biennial, a mirrored tower broadcasts the “Whitney Frauenbank” network, which visitors can access using their WiFi-enabled devices. The tower provides access to Frauenbank (2017), a cooperative named after the first women-owned-and-operated bank that operated in 1910s Berlin. Museum visitors who log into “Whitney Frauenbank” and self-identify as female will be directed to the Frauenbank web app on the .YU domain, which is only accessible at the Museum. Upon opening the app, they will be guided through the process of acquiring membership to and taking part in the future of Frauenbank.Frauenbank is structured as a decentralized autonomous organization on the global Ethereum network, where operations are recorded and verified in a public ledger called a blockchain. Its immutable peer-to-peer contract equalizes power in that each member gets one vote regardless of the number of shares held. Contributed financial assets are put towards the purchase of land in Serbia—something only possible in the wake of a 2017 law permitting foreign acquisition of real estate there. Frauenbank creates a cooperative space for women and a new kind of property. Neither private nor public, both are grounded in the former Yugoslavia’s digital and physical domain.
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Samara Golden addresses the idea of psychological space through disassembled interior architecture, often creating illusions with reflective surfaces and upended objects and rooms. Her site-specific installation for the 2017 Biennial adjoins the Museum’s formidable west-facing windows on the fifth floor. Golden’s work incorporates these windows as well as the river and sky beyond, with mirrors placed on the ceiling and floor creating an infinite visual abyss. The structure is stratified, both spatially and socially. Using handmade sculptures of furniture and other everyday objects, she creates a series of environments seemingly in conflict with each other: a penthouse apartment, an image of aspirational wealth; a middle-class home full of art projects and plants; a drab, cluttered office; and an institutional space that the artist describes as part hospital, part prison. Viewed from an elevated platform, the installation has a disorienting effect, evoking the anxiety produced by a political climate rife with social and economic inequality.