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TRISHA DONNELLY, conceptual/performance
Trisha Donnelly rode into the opening of her first New York show on horseback in a Napoleonic uniform, read a short declaration of surrender, and abruptly departed. In this and other demonstrations—involving rain dances, howling wolves, and exhortations to “stand against time”—the 31-year-old San Francisco artist has redefined the art experience as a fleeting moment of transcendence, with the artist as an elusive guide. Donnelly’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t approach hasn’t stopped curators from including her in their programs (the Carnegie International, the upcoming Berlin Biennial, etc.). “She really revived the ephemeral and the performative act,” says MoMA’s Klaus Biesenbach. On the Whitney’s fourth floor, listen carefully for Donnelly’s audio piece, which she describes as “a reversed sound . . . like the strange sound of the tsunami, when the wave pulled back.”


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