Grabner brings 38-member collective The Yams to the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
February 28, 2014

Michelle Grabner Details the Influence of Art Collectives in the New York Times

In “Singular Art, Made by Plurals,” published in the February 21 edition of the New York Times, contributor Felicia R. Lee profiles 38-member artist collective the Yams (shorthand for HowDoYouSayYaminAfrican?). “In many ways, the Yams personify the challenges of collectives and the informal and unexpected way they work,” Lee says of the group, set to make their debut at the upcoming 2014 Whitney Biennial. The collective officially formed last year after SAIC faculty member and Biennial co-curater Michelle Grabner (Painting and Drawing) encouraged member Sienna Sheilds to produce a film for the exhibition. “Art collectives function differently today, and although they are still an efficient means of artistic production, they also allow for a fluid coupling and uncoupling of all sorts of people and ideas,” Grabner says. “They reflect the proficiency of our networked culture. Authorship has become very slippery.” At the Biennial, the Yams will debut Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: An Opera, a 53-minute digital work investigating how race haunts black identity. The 2014 Whitney Biennial runs from March 7 through May 25.