Sign up for our newsletter

Stay informed on our latest news!

It's Time

It is more or less impossible to do justice to such a wide-ranging show through a written summary. So in lieu of such futile foppery, office figured we’d send three plucky poets to the Biennial to craft some ekphrastic responses to a few of the works on view there.


Carly Dashiell, Kyle Carrero Lopez, and Nico Teixeira did exactly that, and it’s about time you read them already.


Above: Film still from 'The Maid' by Carissa Rodriguez.


Carly Dashiell 




after Carissa Rodriguez’s ​The Maid




The architectures hang faces off dangerous rock


I’ve heard they live in no countries at all


Where occasion is this moment


But I am permitted


An obsessed ballerina


I am. Maddened by the shape of egg


No one’s


I put in the mouth


Pliant ! The egg is machine which has invaded mouth


Asset via gloved twirl


Fabulous without hollow


I am. Timeless egg woman glass




Gleaming my surfaces mouth I am. Needled


Above: Eric N. Macks'  '(Easter) The Spring / The Holy Ground' .


On hot and dry slants


after Eric N. Mack’s '​(Easter) The Spring / The Holy Ground' 


Do I love the discussion of ethics and tariffs

inside the museum where people say ​big


A​ mark / object / or other indication

of the existence or passing of something


The more I like it

the more the thing I like changes


Appears unghostly in my eye              Turns

like nesting doves a way of thinking 


June needs touching not utopia

materials keep me from seeming definitive


It must be endless

the way I am reminded of something else


Trace of joy / slant of trace / Alvin Baltrop

nested in a makeshift harness


When I look at this picture I recall

how beautiful you seemed when taking it


Achingly / to witness the yielding of soft

bodies like downy birds                Measured


The relationship of one to its dwelling

in years or miles


They peck and summon all which is not real

the doves who mangle this Cinnabon




Above: Janiva Ellis's 'Uh Oh, Look Who Got Wet'.


Kyle Carrero Lopez


Uh Oh, Look Who Got Wet


after Janiva Ellis


You wade through winding water,

napalm human stained

by journey burns, exhausted

yet industrious, un(glottal)stopping,

ever-ready to raze or extract,

fleeing from Earth,

which needs not run

to catch you.

In one arm you swaddle

ducklings, puppy dogs,

babies, especially white ones.

It’s easy to love what you can cuddle,

what you’ve seen coddled.

Your other arm balances you,

and another arm pulls your face back

when it droops,

and another points at unhelds

left behind,

those extra limbs

extensions of the diminutives’

influence on you.

Who and what aren’t you

willing to save?

Water isn’t wet.

Wetness as you know it

is different for sea-dwellers.

Seems a nearby mermaid—

naturally green as fescue

she lies on, dying, green

as spruces and firs to the west,

southern palm and baobab,

and greenhouse basil


now beached, front and center,

aquatic agony fin-bleached

by reds and blues down

her scales like 3D glasses,

acid trip tones to match

swollen skies that acid rained

on her home,

wasn’t quite cuddly enough.

Thanks to you

and your puppy ducklings,

your baby white sweets,

she got wet.


Above: Agustina Woodgate's 'National Times'.


National Times


after Agustina Woodgate


Tardiness haunts its vassals,

trailing ectoplasm

into dates and meetings

and austere offices.


Either time disagrees with me,

or something within me

with it.


Punctuality is a minor virtue,

to paraphrase Woolf.


One should hold the virtue part

higher than the minor

to keep from draining

another’s precious irreplaceable.


Some say black Americans run

late because our stolen ancestors

moved in different time

than the U.S.


This informs the idea of C.P. time.


People rightfully call it racist

for Clinton & de Blasio to joke about it.


But what if:

their ghosts really surround me.


What if my ghosts could sandpaper

every number on every slave

clock and cuckoo, hack all digitals,

master clock to subway screen

to cell phone, to permanently say 11:11,

an end of time.


Something new would rule us.

First we make it, then we submit.


Above: film stills from Tiona Nekkia McClodden's 'I prayed to the wrong god for you'.


Nico Teixeira






​after Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s 'I prayed to the wrong god for you'




i’m on dead-on quest to reach that un-

reachable star of my past imagined im-

possible dream· seeing six degrees of un-

bearable separation· i’m drawn down to

unbeatable foundation· to see its new im-

permanent art· fire emits smoke from im-




mortal television· my false god· screens

above· space · queer Native American

material hangs defending Dike’s violent

national anthem· archangel lingering be-

hind lowercase d-deafening rage angles

against social stratifications measured in

order to channel Mnt Olympus· my body




reads The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her

Search for God· the spine· in shot of line-

age of stacked books· black girl in visitors’

space takes shot of what i’m trying to under-

stand· then she’s gone in no time· seconds—

but i won’t leave this museum until i have




sense· i don’t wear a helmet when i bike

over NYC burrows anymore· i’m testing

god· tasting art· my brain static travels a-

round the grid in circles· 33 ½· objectified

object permanent tools· colors· blood dew

dropping down· what happened to Camilla?

i ask· i hear Tiona laugh· she appears here




w/ me· dedication manifests magic· horse

is brown w/ good reason· i see infinity +

one· Shango· but i must bolt to training·

watch is exactly two days late· forever—

leaving before following or discovering

more idols’ visions of truth in gods’ art

institution· six knows· i’m clever as clev-




er not fully accepting· difficult to move a-

way from power· journaling journeys un-

heard· bound by axe handle· jury eats past

saw dust severed· Lady of the Lake of fire:

take down that man—boy that thinks he’s

god· MADE IN THE USA (site never cited

in The Holy Bible’s poems) found any way


The Whitney Biennial is on view through September 22nd, 2019.

Confirm your age

Please confirm that you are at least 18 years old.

I confirm Whooops!