The Whitney Biennial, arguably the world’s most influential contemporary art survey, is garnering heavier than usual praise this year — and that’s got just as much to do with the curatorial decisions as it does the participating artists. Roberta Smith’s review in The New York Times began, “One of the best Whitney Biennials in recent memory may or may not contain a lot more outstanding art than its predecessors, but that’s not the point.” What does that mean? Jens Hoffmann can explain. He’s organized some of the most prestigious exhibitions in the world, most recently the 12th International Istanbul Biennial, and he’s come under fire in the past for drawing a line (or at least, helping define it) between curators who treat exhibits as if they were books in need of an author, and curators who merely catalog and distribute art. The title of this lecture is “Biennials and Curatorial Ambivalence,” and in it, Hoffman will explore standards of quality and professionalism in curatorial practice. I’m curious to hear what he has to say about Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination, the third and perhaps most exciting exhibit that curator Mark Scala has organized for The Frist.