Third Space

On the “Theater of Refusal” and the 1993 Whitney Biennial's place between past and present

  • Jan 20, 2024
  • A film by Jed Moch

Homi K. Bhabha, Kate Fowle, Charles Gaines, Thelma Golden, Zoe Leonard, Lisa Phillips, David Ross, Gary Simmons and Elisabeth Sussman reflect on the complex influence of the 1993 Whitney Biennial and Gaines’ “Theater of Refusal: Black Art and Mainstream Criticism” (1993).

Gary Simmons, Wall of Eyes, 1993, in the 1993 Biennial Exhibition. © Gary Simmons. Photo: Geoffrey Clements. Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art Archives

Daniel J. Martinez, Museum Tags: Second Movement (Overture) or Overture con Claque—Overture with Hired Audience Members, 1993, in the 1993 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art. © Daniel J. Martinez

It makes you rethink both the now and the then. But what happens when they come together is that it takes you elsewhere. It takes you to a third space. It makes other issues and questions visible.”—Homi K. Bhabha

RETROaction,” an exhibition about the 1993 Biennial, developed in collaboration with Homi K. Bhabha, is on view at Hauser & Wirth New York’s 69th Street location until January 27. The exhibition will travel to Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, opening on February 27.