Give Newly Appointed Dr. Kanye West a Chance to Curate the Venice Biennale
West is now ready for a spot in the Venetian sun.
Given the unstoppable conflation of entertainment, music, and art, the petition to have Kanye West appointed artistic director of the next Venice Biennale can be read either as a joke—or as a prophecy.
The superstar rapper has recently taken up curating (see Kanye West Curates With Richard Prince, Anish Kapoor, and Cecily Brown), even if only for the pages of a magazine.
But the collective BiennalYe’s recognition of West’s potential predates these baby steps into the curatorial realm: It has been campaigning to have the rapper appointed artistic director of the Venice Biennale for well over a year and a half.
Slightly taken aback by the decision to choose the reputed Okwui Enwezor to curate the forthcoming edition (see Venice Biennale Curator Okwui Enwezor On “All the World’s Futures,” Karl Marx, and The Havana Biennial Boycott), BiennalYe is now back with renewed energies. In an online petition published on change.org, the collective states:
“After a period of dormancy following the appointment of Okwui Enwezor […] the time is ripe to re-open the campaign to appoint Kanye West as a future Artistic Director of the Biennale.
#BiennalYe will now accept West’s appointment to the position of Artistic Director of either the Art or Architecture Biennales, being equally placed, as he is, to lead both.
Let’s allow West his deserved opportunity to pop a wheelie on the zeitgeist.
Please encourage others to join this campaign for change. Hans Ulrich-Obrist and Kim Kardashian already have.”
In case anyone should question West’s credentials, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has confirmed that it has awarded the rapper an honorary doctorate. And West—who is, after all, an art school dropout—is in good company: German artist Albert Oehlen, gallerist Rhona Hoffman, artist Janet Neiman and the president of the Art Institute of Chicago, Douglas Druick, will receive the honorary doctorate alongside the pop star. The ceremony will take place on May 11, 2015.
Apparently, West wooed the SAIC committee when he revealed that he would have liked to study there instead of at the American Academy of Art, during his recent Oxford speech (see Kanye West’s Oxford Speech Reveals He Wanted to Be Picasso “Or Greater” and Much More)
“West has a longstanding history of deep and sincere engagement with art. Art school educated, West has been the figure that has gotten Vanessa Beecroft onto MTV (through their collaboration on Runaway), and placed George Condo in Walmart (through his cover art for My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy). Plus, he photoblogged the entirety of Urs Fischer’s 2009 New Museum exhibition.”
Convinced? You can sign the petition here.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.