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News Blackout: Whitney Downtown’s Not-Ready-for-Primetime Fly-Through Video

The Whitney Museum’s entertaining fly-through video of its planned new downtown facility, presented Monday by director Adam Weinberg tothe Art and Institutions Committee of Manhattan Community Board 2, was a big hit yesterday on CultureGrrl (and, presumably, also on Curbed). It was posted to YouTube (and available for embedding on other websites) by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Now, anyone who tries to view that video sees this:

If you click on the arrow, you’ll see, “This video has been removed by the user.”

I feel like I’m back in China, where CNN’s dispatches (regarding Ai Weiwei and Liu 

Xiaobo)suddenly went dark.

I guess what may have happened here is that the Whitney wasn’t ready for its coming-attraction trailer to be widely disseminated. The GVSHP may have taped the video at the meeting without permission. (But this was, after all, a public meeting of a government body.) Maybe Renzo Piano got wind of the fact that a fly-through had been publicly screened, notwithstanding his previously expressed distaste for such things (which Weinberg had alluded to at the meeting).

If you go to the website of the Whitney’s

Downtown Building Project, all you’ll see about Monday’s Community Board presentation is a link to Erica Orden‘s Wall Street Journal piece covering the meeting. There’s no press release about the presentation and no announcement of the May 24 groundbreaking date.

Posted in its Tuesday item about the meeting (linked here at the top), Curbed still has 14 images of renderings and plans for the Downtown Whitney. These look to me like amateur photos of slides that were shown at the meeting, not images officially distributed to the public or press (let alone posted on the museum’s website).

Here’s a look at one gallery:


But who knew that the Whitney had all those George Segal people? (Just kidding.)

I have queries in to the Whitney and the GVSHP as to why the video has vanished. If and when I know more, I’ll update here.

an ArtsJournal blog