Artist: Ben Kinmont
miscellaneous | 2002

Since the late nineteenth century, avant-garde artists have largely been dedicated to breaking down the barriers between art and everyday life, and have argued that there are no limits to what can be called art. Artist Ben Kinmont disagrees with this premise, arguing that art “is not invited everywhere” and that it can be destructive or unethical to represent conversations that take place in the domestic realm. Kinmont’s interactive Sshhh project explores what it might mean to ethically introduce the private into the public space of the museum, and visa versa. The artist invites Biennial visitors to send him a note containing their name and the date—but not the content—of a conversation they have had at home. For the first hundred notes he receives, he will make two letterpress conversation sheets. One will go on view in the Biennial alongside materials from the archive’s first iteration, which was produced in Chatou, France. The other will be sent to Kinmont’s correspondents as an aide-mémoire for a conversation once had.


Whitney Biennal 2014 | 2014.03.07 - 2014.05.25 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)