Friends of NYU Steinhardt toured the 2017 Whitney Biennial at a special event hosted by Lyle Ashton Harris and Tommy Hartung, faculty members in the Department of Art and Arts Professions whose work was chosen for the prestigious annual exhibition.
Ashton Harris, associate professor of art and art education presented Once (Now) Again, a site-specific multimedia installation features a three-channel video work comprised of projected images taken from Harris’s Ektachrome Archive (photographed 1986–2000) as well as three new video works using footage originally recorded on Hi-8 and MiniDV format in the 1990s.
Hartung, a studio art adjunct faculty member, took questions about his eight-minute 4K video, Lesser Key of Solomon (2016), a hallucinatory montage reflecting themes of racial inequality, power struggles, systemic violence, and religious fervor.
The tour was led by Steinhardt Dean Dominic Brewer. He noted that NYU has always been a home to artists; a place where they have felt free to speak about social turmoil in their art.
“Inclusion and impact are in the Steinhardt DNA, and our distinguished faculty members, Lyle Ashton Harris and Tommy Hartung, express these values in their amazing art,” Brewer said.
The Whitney Biennial is the country’s preeminent survey of the current state of American, and includes select work from 63 emerging and well-established artists. According to the Whitney, the “formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected.”