After Kanders: Reflecting on the 2019 Whitney Tear Gas Biennial

Protesters in the lobby of the Whitney Museum on May 18, 2019 (image by the author for Hyperallergic)

From undergoing nine weeks of protests to displaying more ethnically and racially diverse than previous years, this year’s Whitney Biennial has a lot to unpack, particularly around the resignation of Warren B. Kanders, the former vice chair of the Whitney Museum and the man behind Safariland, a tear gas and military equipment manufacturer.

I asked our associate news editor Jasmine Weber, editor and critic Seph Rodney, and reporter Hakim Bishara to join me and reflect on months of controversy and protest, while offering their opinions on the exhibition itself. We discuss favorite works, what the state of affairs is post-Kanders, and the biennial’s duds. You’ll want to hear this.

A special thanks to Wanderraven, who provided the music to this week’s episode. The song is “Here Into The Dark” and you can hear more at

This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.

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