Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design.
Ajay Kurian's Childermass stretches from floor to ceiling in the Whitney's open stairwell, stringing a series of 'episodes' into a loose, almost sci-fi narrative of mutual misunderstanding and bodily anxiety. The installation is inhabited by a variety od surreal or nightmarish characters, including children who are part animal or part machine, moon men, and other creatures. Crowning the installation is a crome chameleon that Kurian sees as simultaneously open, changeable, abd tyrannical - an apporiate allegorical figure fo today's political climate. The chameleon's eyes are optical retroreflectors, prisms that reflect viewer's onw eyes back to them. The eerie effect distills the discomfort about otherness evident in the tense, enigmatic vignettes of the installation.