This year's Whitney Biennial lands at a controversial time in the US. Occupy Museums, a group borne out of the Occupy Wall Street decided to focus on debt as a theme this biennial. They had a call for Debt Fair art submissions that culminated in choosing 30 artists to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial. Included in their debt theme was a special call for Puerto Rican artists affected by the Puerto Rican debt crisis. The selected artists were:
Occupy Museums's mission is to call out economic and social injustice propagated by institutions of art and culture. They aim to reinforce the idea that art is not a luxury. The 2016 announcement of Puerto Rico's inability to pay back it's debt was not a total surprise, as unemployment and foreclosures had been rising on the Island. However, the citizens are left with most of the consequences for the debt. For the Debt Fair, Occupy Museums talks about the number of American artists who gradate from MFA programs in debt and what that means for the future of art. To learn more about the artists included, check out their links above. For further information about the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis this Huffington Post article is a good place to start.