Impressions of the 2012 Whitney Biennial

by the-biennial-project 21. May 2012 12:38

Hey Kids!

This weeks post is a two-for-one value: a mash-up of two ongoing Biennial Project features - All-Things-Whitney and Fan-of the Month.

First off, we would like to introduce you to our friend, collaborator, webmaster, and spectacular photographer Paul Weiner.

Paul performs a fantastic service for both us and our many readers - he writes the software for our award-winning web site and blog!

He is also an amazing photographer who specializes in shooting portraits of artists in their studios -using only a small flashlight to “paint the picture” in a totally dark room. He shoots on film and does no digital manipulation of the images.

Since he is constantly working with artists and observing their processes in detail for his portraits, we thought our readers would enjoy reading his take on the 2012 Whitney Biennial.

BYW, The Whitney Biennial closes this weekend - so get down there to see it now and tell them your friends at The Biennial Project sent you - they'll like that!


Paul’s artwork:

  "Night Vision" by Paul Weiner

"Klean" by Paul Weiner


Impressions of the 2012 Whitney Biennial

Last weekend I visited the 2012 Whitney Biennial to enjoy the latest in contemporary American art. At the request of my friends at The Biennial Project, I’m sharing my impressions.  The museum was closing in a few hours so I decided to concentrate on viewing the non-video art.

Performance2"Run, Mary, Run" by Rashida Bumbray

The first gallery I saw had an assortment of tightly packed metal frames and wood building materials. Perhaps some construction work was taking place? I would investigate later since I wanted to see “Run, Mary, Run” by the Dance Diaspora Collective. This high-energy, gospel, dance performance was inspirational and it was hard to leave, but I needed to see other parts of the biennial before the Whitney closed. I was thinking that if the artwork were even half as good as the performance, this would be an exciting exhibition.

Tuazon Oscar Tuazon

The first exhibition room had messy liquids scattered on a plastic sheet across the floor. Hmmm, a work in progress. Another space was filled with boxes, TVs and a bed. With no one there, it looked like a storage area. Around the corner was a small object covered with oatmeal attached near the bottom of a wall. I was beginning to think that this must be a special exhibit, perhaps still being installed, so I asked the guard which floor the biennial exhibition was on. He said that the entire museum, except for parts of the top floor, was the 2012 Biennial.

Sam-LewittSam Lewitt

Normally, I like to interpret my art without reading the artist statements (which is sometimes better than the art and does not always relate to the art!). This is, however, often necessary for conceptual art in which the ideas are as important as the esthetics and emotional impact of the artwork. So, I carefully read the statements.

Dawn-KasperDawn Kasper

It then became clear what I had seen. The “construction” exhibit on the first floor was by Oscar Tuazon. He uses modular parts and building materials to represent spaces we inhabit. The “storage room” was gallery space in which Dawn Kasper had moved her studio and bedroom. She was living there during the exhibition but unfortunately was not there during my visit. The small sculpture on the wall was an oatmeal covered weed trimmer by Michael Smith. Finally, the “messy display” on the floor was an installation in progress by Sam Levitt of ferrofluid material that resists representation.

JuttaKoether - The Seasons "The Seasons" by Jutta Koether

I visited other parts of the Biennial and reinforced my initial impression of a grim, post-apocalyptic world where artists, because of scarcity of funding, made relatively small art with found objects and inexpensive materials. Survival was too difficult to worry much about matters outside of economic crises (photos of LaToya Ruby Frazier) or distractions such as perverse sex (collages and drawings of Richard Hawkins).

Latoya-Ruby-Frazier---Corporate-Exploitation-and-Economic-Inequality!"Corporate Explotation and Economic Inequality" by LaToya Ruby Frazier

The main exception to this post-apocalyptic vision was the work of Forrest Bess. His work was optimistic and peaceful. Art, throughout his life, remained a search for truth and his painting was a means in which “the individual may be come keyed into the Eternal." (2) Many of these paintings were direct renditions of his visions, unfiltered by his conscious mind. It was ironic that an abstract painting I liked very much and thought tranquil was titled “Bodies of Little Dead Children”. Bess had a life of many hardships. He had suffered from mental illness (diagnosed in his later years as paranoid schizophrenia), cancer and alcoholism. Pictures of his self-mutilated genitals were included in the exhibit.

\Richard-Hawkins-- Richard Hawkins

Art that “present perceptual embodiments of important ideas--not only ideas about existential phenomena, such as death, envy, love, and fame, but also conceptions of other-worldly things, such as heaven and hell” (1) were absent from much of the non-video work I looked at. The work was often either devoid of underlying thought (other than the specific intent of the artist) or mostly conceptual.

Bess-Complete-Freedom"Complete Freedom" by Forrest Bess

The dynamic performances and videos did provide a balance, but surely there must be other artists who keep with the intended themes of the curators to balance those in the show and still provide the ambiguity of interpretation in their artwork that is part of great artwork that holds its power across diverse generations.

So, rush to see any remaining performances and the videos. Take the time to read the artist statements and don’t expect to escape the concerns and problems of the outside world.

Paul Weiner
May 22, 2012

1. Michelle Marder, “Art and Cognition: Mimesis vs. the Avant Garde”, Aristos, December 2004.

2. Michael Ennis, “His Name Was Forrest Bess”, Texas Monthly, June 1982,

3. Artists mentioned who are featured on The Biennial Project Whitney Biennial artist cards:





Fan of the Month | Report-backs and Reviews | Whitney Biennial Campaigns

Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma'am!

by the-biennial-project 16. March 2012 09:30

Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma'am!


Renowned practically-British artist (and Director of The Biennial Project Film Institute) Tom Estes agreed to create a documentary with the aim of recording a discrete and tasteful experiment in art making - only to find much more than he bargained for!

Trapped in a no-man's land of depravity and subjected to a relentless cast of "the weird and the pathetic, the ugly, the obscene and the beautiful" this delightfully dubious low budget documentary frequently pushes the limits of the format.

After the glamour of the 2012 Whitney Biennial and the double-whammy of collateral events one might think it was time to go home, put your feet up and have a nice cup a tea... but no!

Boston Socialite, Art World Insider and Windsor- Whitney Biennial curator- Anna Salmeron, pitches herself, body and soul, into the squalid decadence of the New York art scene in an attempt to pep up her flagging art career. But can she escape this secret life she has chosen, or will it destroy her forever?

This short excerpt, offers an instant soft-core art classic - an erotically-charged trip through a virtual alphabet of deviant sexual pleasure, and a who's who of insider art world dealings.

Bonus Features: Also stars one of the the depraved minds behind The Biennial Project and fellow Windsor - Whitney Biennial curator - Eric Hess, who seems to get what he wants by wielding some sort of odd control over his more normal looking co-workers. Hess works his demented way through the back alleys of the big cities to the savage cruelty of the suburbs- gorging himself in an ultra-sleazy, full-frontal journey.

Pre-orders are available now at

WARNING This video clip includes relentless nudity, socio-cultural blathering and interpretive dance that some viewers may find offensive!

the newspaper said what ya doing in bed?

XXOO, Sir Tom Estes,

Director of The Biennial Project Film Institute


More on Tom Estes at the 2012 Windsor Whitney Biennial


Adult Content | Other Campaigns and High-jinks | Whitney Biennial Campaigns

Introducing the Windsor Whitney Grand Prize Winner!

by the-biennial-project 11. March 2012 11:14

As the dust settles from The Biennial Project's insanely successful Tour de Nueva York 2012, we can reflect on some of the many things that were accomplished.

Not least of which was getting to know the work of the hundreds and hundreds of awesome artists who submitted work to the 2012 Windsor Whitney Biennial. We knew there were a lot of great artists out there, but really, some of this stuff is so good it's just sick!

Picking a Grand Prize Winner from all the strong entries was not easy, but in the end we agreed that LA artist Abdul Mazid just had to be the one. His body of work is brave and intelligent, and his personal voice speaks clearly throughout. And it's beautiful. And fun. And he's only 31. And a really nice guy.

Just scary.


Here he is with his work.


A close-up of his piece Colony Collapse.



A silly facebook image - OK, we couldn't resist.

So check out his work and that of our

other winners in our Winner's Galleries:

Grand Prize Gallery

Winner's Gallery

Video Winner's Gallery

Then see more of Abdul's fantastic work at his website:

Then LIKE us on facebook!

The Biennial Project on Facebook

OK, now you're done!

XXOO, The Biennial Project


Global Biennial Digest Feb. 2012

by the-biennial-project 18. February 2012 13:33

Lets face it. We love The Venice Biennale and The Whitney Biennial but as you all know they are not the only biennials on our planet. Yes the folks in The Vento and on The Upper East Side think that they are end all and be all in the art biennial world but we, meaning us here at The Biennial Project, and you, our loyal and creative fans, know that all the really cool shit goes down right in our own backyards. Fame and fortune, we are not above them, but sometimes we simply just want to show our art. Presented here is the on- going series brought to you by The Biennial Project called The Global Biennial Digest and here we will look at some of the other biennials going on globally.

    • First off, there is The 2012 Inaugural Windsor-Whitney Biennial, an Online Survey of American and International Art!! This event is brought to you by none other then us, The Biennial Project. Here is your chance to show off YOUR WORK to our global biennial community. All you have to do is enter by this Sunday, February 19, 2012, by midnight (maybe by the next morning if you are a last minute late night procrastinator). To submit work, please go to whitneybestcard

The Biennial Project is honored to have the Renowned Artist and Star of Bravo TV Network's Runaway Hit Show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" Morgan The Sucklord Phillips as our Celebrity Guest Juror! The Windsor Whitney Biennial Grand Prize Winner will attend (as a guest of The Biennial Project!) the February 29th VIP Reception of the other notable biennial opening in New York that week - yes, The Whitney Biennial (a $250 Value!).


Art World Cognoscente may wonder, “”Does the World need yet another Biennial?” if not “Why the heck haven’t I been included in The Whitney Biennial?” The provocative artist collective known as The Biennial Project relishes sinking their creative teeth into such charged questions. Their goal is to explore the nature of and understand the perception of biennials within the art world. In the words of renowned art critic Clea Sahroli “the Project provides a metaphorical vehicle to explore the underlying dynamics of who gets validation from the art world apparatus and why, at the same time addressing the artist’s internal dialectic between expected and achieved success in external and personal universes.”

The Windsor Whitney Biennial will explore art biennials…and all the aspiration and greed, sublime insight and cheap self-aggrandizement, profundity and narcissism that biennials have come to represent. If artists have ever looked with envy at the burgeoning biennial activity around them, attended a venerable Biennale and said to themselves, “I can do better than that,” …this bi’s for you!

For more information contact

To submit work, please go to



Another biennial you may want to check out (only looking, too late to show) is Colombo Art Biennale 2012, which is taking place now in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo adjacent to the capital city of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. This is the last and only weekend to see this so hurry your ass over to Sri Lanka. The Colombo Art Biennale 2012 aims to strengthen the platform and enhance awareness of Sri Lankan Contemporary Art and culture both within Sri Lanka and around the globe. The Colombo Art Biennale this year is adopting the theme of “Becoming”, which will be reflected by the astonishing variety of the best of the best contemporary art on show. Some of the showing artists include artists Aaron Burton, Anoli Perera ,Anomaa Rajakaruna ,Anura Krishantha, Bandu Manamperi and Chandraguptha Thenuwara(of course). Undoubtedly the most popular sport in Sri Lanka is cricket. The country emerged as champions of the 1996 Cricket World Cup and became runners up in 2007 and 2011. Colombo has the distinction of being the only city in the world to have 4 cricket Test venues in the past: Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo Cricket Club Ground and Ranasinghe Premadasa Stadium. This Saturday night The Biennial will host the ‘Becoming One Party’, which is a mix of art, performance, musicians and djs!!!!!! Early birds pay only 2,000 rupees from box offices or else its 2,500 at the door. The party will be covered by MTV, HI Magazine and YES FM Radio.


If you miss The Biennial in Columbo then make sure you put The Adelaide Biennial on your calendar. This Biennial will be held from March 2, 2012 until March 18th. An experiential proposition inspired by art, cinema and literature, the 2012 Adelaide Biennial explores the ways in which ideas emerge, converge and re-form through time. This year’s theme is Parallel Collisions. Across four physical platforms, Parallel Collisions presents 21 commissioned works by some of Australia’s leading artists, 21 original texts, a designer, an architect, two curators and an institution, forming a connective tissue that attempts to understand our subjective experience of time. The curators are Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor and artists include Pat Foster & Jen Berean, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Susan Jacobs, Jonathan Jones and Yvonne Koolmatrie. The first Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian, hails from Adelaide’s northeastern suburb of Golden Grove. American musician Ben Folds used to base himself in Adelaide when he was married to Australian Frally Hynes.



For those of you who like to show art more then they like to look at it, The Bellevue Arts Museum located in Bellevue Washington is holding The BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet. This is being held from October 25, 2012 - February 24, 2013. Artists are encouraged to take a creative approach to the fiber medium, considering both traditional expressions of fiber art and the fringes of the medium, where concepts of art and craft merge. The exhibition is intended to recognize the innovative and extraordinary work being produced by contemporary Northwest makers, and to celebrate the region's distinctive character. For details on how to enter go to


To round out our coverage of Pacific Biennials that are going on this month we were going to talk about The Yayasan Biennale Yogyakarta. This biennial is hard to understand. Either a language thing or we are just too tired from putting together THE WINDSOR WHITNRY BIENNIAL for you. We LOVE our many fans in Indonesia!! They are some of our most loyal. Check out our ipiellegence map on our website and look how many people from Jakarta are following us.


It might be also known as The Equator: Biennale Jogja XI 2011. I’d say look out for it in 2013 if you want to go. Just be happy that you know it exists and we applaud the artists of India and Indonesia even if we can’t read their website.


We only found this statement and we think its sounds neato!!

Starting in 2011, the Biennale Jogja XI, which takes place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, will work its way around the equator, a zone designated as the area between the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23°27′ north) and the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23°27′ south). Biennale Jogja will look further towards the future, open up new perspectives and develop confrontations that engage convention and the establishment by examining similar situations all over the world. The discourse of contemporary art has become very dynamic, but we still notice that the dichotomy of center and periphery remains very strong. There is the need to identify new opportunities and seek out more valuable meaning in a biennale event.



Global Biennialism Digest

Be a Part of the Windsor Whitney Biennial!

by the-biennial-project 5. January 2012 11:23

The Biennial Project is proud to announce

The 2012 Inaugural Windsor-Whitney Biennial

an Online Survey of American and International Art


Wowza, now wouldn't that look good on your resume?

The Biennial Project is honored to have the Renowned Artist and Star of Bravo Television Network's Runaway Hit Show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" Morgan The Sucklord Phillips as our Celebrity Guest Juror! (For more about The Sucklord, check out his website:, or this recent article in the Village Voice:

All work selected for this prestigious Biennial will be displayed in The Biennial Project's Website Gallery and in a dedicated blog posting that reaches an audience of over 2,000 - and will be included in a digital art display at The Biennial Project's Windsor-Whitney New York City Glittering Champagne Opening Reception to be held the night of March 2nd, 2012 at the Art Connects New York /Spattered Columns Gallery in SoHo.

Prizes will include a solo gallery show on our website, and a solo blog posting to an audience of over 2,000 art lovers! In addition, The Grand Prize Golden Saharoli Winner will attend (as a guest of The Biennial Project!) the February 29th VIP Reception of the other notable biennial opening in New York that week - yes, The Whitney Biennial (a $250 Value!).

This is a fantastic chance to get your work seen and admired by a huge audience, including movers and shakers in the art world. But don't delay, opportunities like this don't come along often, and you don't want to be left off of The-Biennial-Project-Direct-Shot-to-Fame-Express!


Email Deadline: 12pm EST February 19th, 2012



Whitney Biennial Campaigns

The Keys to Success in the Art World

by the-biennial-project 29. December 2011 16:35

As our many fans know, The Biennial Project wants ever so much to figure out how to get our work shown in one of those Super-Prestigious-Career-Making-Upper-Level Biennial Exhibits.

So we decided to go directly to the source and ask Successful Artists how they had managed it.

We sent thoughtful individual emails to all the artists who had shown in the 2008/2010 Whitney Biennial or the 2009 Venice Biennale asking for their advice.

The thoughtful individual emails went like this:

Dear ____________, We loved your work at the ___________ Biennial. We are an artists collaborative with the goal of being included in the next ____________ Biennial. Our group is interested in your unique insights regarding the selection process. How do we get in?

The Biennial Project

Knowing that Successful Artists are known for being selfless folks who are always interested in helping out other artists, we expected a high level of response. But the results exceeded even our expectations!

The better to share the useful information we have gleaned from our new Famous Friends, we have reproduced some of the most useful tidbits here.

Now, although The Biennial Project is known for having a good sense of humor and a well-developed creative side, all these email conversations are represented 100% as written, by each artist who we credit here.



First off, Our Friend John Baldessari (Venice Biennale, 2009):


Next, Our Friend Terrence Koh (Whitney Biennial, 2008):


And our Special Friend Tony Conrad (Venice Biennale 2009):


And Our Friend Falke Pisano (Venice Biennale 2009):


And of course Our Friend Ermek Jaenish (Venice Biennale, 2009):


And who could forget Our Friend Nina Berman (Whitney Biennial 2010):


And Our Best Friend Kate Gilmore (Whitney Biennial 2010):


And Lastly, Our Friend Oksana Shatalova (Venice Biennale 2009):



There, now wasn’t that helpful? Click here for lots more:



Whitney Biennial 2012 Artists Announced!

by the-biennial-project 29. December 2011 11:47


There are questions in life that boggle the mind. How did the first atom form and why is it not indivisible? Why do dogs bark and cats meow? Why do some species crave love? Did the dish really run away with the spoon?

Most recently on our mind is the important question of ‘Why the fuck did it take so long for Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Saunders to finalize the Whitney Biennial 2012 Artist List?’

After the immense shock of not seeing our own names amongst the other esteemed, and (let’s be perfectly honest) super-well-connected artisans, we at The Biennial Project managed to marshal our vast emotional resources to snap out of our stupor regarding why WE of all people were not invited to show. 

But the question still remains, ‘why keep us hanging for so long? It seems our friendly letters, not-so-friendly letters, self portraits, offerings of food and many other spectacular gifts did not make much of an impression on these highfalutin curators. Undoubtedly Elis and Jay already had a lot of very nifty stuff, but, really, a simple thank you letter would have been nice.

Oh well. They are probably busy with a ton of fabulous parties and are distracted by all their new friends, hangers-on, and fellow-travelers - so we get it, sort of. After all, if anybody can understand how time-consuming and misleading fame can be it is The Biennial Project.

Anyhow, after dusting off our neglected, bruised egos we got excited when we learned who of our many good friends made the cut this year. Maybe these Elisabeth and Jay characters aren’t so repugnant and evil after all. Maybe.

Whitney Biennial 2012 Participating Artists:

Kai Althoff
Thom Andersen
Charles Atlas
Lutz Bacher
Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
Michael Clark
Dennis Cooper and Gisèle Vienne
Cameron Crawford
Moyra Davey
Liz Deschenes
Nathaniel Dorsky
Nicole Eisenman
Kevin Jerome Everson
Vincent Fecteau
Andrea Fraser
LaToya Ruby Frazier
Vincent Gallo
K8 Hardy
Richard Hawkins
Werner Herzog
Jerome Hiler
Matt Hoyt
Dawn Kasper
Mike Kelley
John Kelsey
Jutta Koether
John Knight
George Kuchar
Laida Lertxundi
Kate Levant
Sam Lewitt
Joanna Malinowska
Andrew Masullo
Nick Mauss
Richard Maxwell
Sarah Michelson
Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran
Laura Poitras
Matt Porterfield
Luther Price
Lucy Raven
The Red Krayola
Kelly Reichardt
Elaine Reichek
Michael Robinson
Georgia Sagri
Michael E. Smith
Tom Thayer
Wu Tsang
Oscar Tuazon
Frederick Wiseman



Less of Us accomplished at The Venice Biennale 54

by the-biennial-project 11. December 2011 11:55


When we arrived at The Venice Biennale Opening Week we were not looking like the emaciated, malnourished, fabulous artists we felt we were on the inside. We all know that 'skinny artist’ equals ‘famous artist' and ‘fat artist’ equals a ‘plein-aire-artist-taking-classes-at-a-local-mid-western-community-college’. I swear, The Biennial Project are the skeletal, chain smoking, debilitated dilettantes waiting to get out of our American, processed-food-built-up, flabby shells. Well, without having shed the necessary kilos, we had no choice but to simply show up to The Biennale with our chins held high (both of them). We would employ our dazzling personalities and surround ourselves with our well-connected friends to cover up our shame. Miss a moment of fun - NEVER!! Also there are always plenty of attention-seeking curators to place in front of our bloated bodies while the cameras of the international press followed our every move.



After a few days of appearing at all our friends’ events, we started to notice that we were able to button the snaps on our pants. The indentations on our skin from our too tight undergarments were not as red, deep or long lasting when we undressed. Could it be that were shedding kilos in the mist of The Venice Biennale? We were!!
Here, at the Venice Biennale, The Biennial Project was finally emerging as the gaunt, twiggy phenomenon you all know us to be.  Below are a few thoughts on how you, too, can champion the bony, lanky appearance of a famous artist at the Venice Biennale.

When hungry, stop in the first restaurant you see with a free table. Chances are pretty good that the food will be uneatable and over-priced. It seems to us that no matter where you find yourself noshing in Venice you will get the same meals, made with no love, for five times the cost of what you would spend at home. We have a theory that there is one central kitchen located way beneath the island that sends the same microwaved meals to all the restaurants via conveyor belt. After a few days of grazing like this, the sight of another over-priced, over-microwaved, frozen pizza will make your stomach turn and you will start to notice yourself skipping meals.


While in the Giardini forget eating at all!! There are only two places to buy food and they each seem to be understaffed. You have to decide if you want to remain famished and possibly look at some art or if you want to wait in line for hours either in the stuffy, over-stimulating café or wait outside in the hot, Italian sun. We had the very special privilege of waiting in the pouring rain for hours only to get yet another over-microwaved frozen pizza for twice as many Euros then we would have paid outside the gate. The Powers-That-Be will not even let you leave the Giardini to scrounge for food outside of the gates without having to pay entrance again (for those of you who have to pay entrance).

Venice54logo-5960Venice54 art-artists-parties-175 
The moment we landed in Venice we started to burn more calories than we normally do sitting on the couch watching The Biggest Loser. As most everybody around the world knows, there was a vaporetto strike during the opening week. Upon landing in Venice we learned that the only way to get to our fabulous Villa was by huffing through the byways of Venice dragging our luggage behind us. The first Bridge coming from the bus Station, the newest bridge in Venice, Ponte della Constituzione  (but nearly everyone in Venice calls it the Ponte di Calatrava) seemed to be designed to punish the out of shape, over-packed, American tourists. The tiny, little steps built into the Ponte di Calatrava made it extra hard to drag a rollaway suitcase. After crossing the bridge you have to pay attention to every bitty sign or risk getting lost in the labyrinth of itsy-bitsy, little streets. It took one of our crew 8 hours to get from the train station to the villa, pulling their bags in the hot, hot Italian sun. It is like a Boot Camp workout. Hence, thinner us.


Another calorie burner is finding the National Pavilions or Collateral events located outside of the Arsenale or Giardini. Those of us who are fortunate enough to partake in The Biennale year after year know some of the most fantastic art is located in satellite venues all over Venice. Finding these diamonds in the rough can sometimes lead to hour upon hour of walking in circles trying to navigate the tiny often-unmarked streets of Venice. This is a fantastic way to see Venice but not so fantastic on your already swollen, blistered extremities. Some countries like Latvia for instance put arrows on the ground to guide you in the direction of the exhibitions. This is great unless some prankster turns one of the arrows around to face you in the wrong direction or a well-meaning friend decides to bring you the arrow from your country of origin as a souvenir. Such actions make finding the art very difficult.

Venice54 art-artists-parties-2DSCF0089Venice54thegang-5
The New Zealand Pavilion location appeared pretty straightforward. Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore is located right on The Grand Canal near the southern entrance of the Academic Bridge. When we traversed over the prominent interchange, we started to follow the well-intended arrows until they sort of just stopped. Jokesters or nationalists were at hand. We were also flustered by a lollygag of lingering, gorgeous Italian High School students on break who aroused us by the erotic smell of Italian teenage pheromones blended with cheap perfume. Venice holds so much for us!! Being as confused and distracted as we were at this point, turning around when lost was not an option. After all Michael Parekowhai, who represents New Zealand, always shows up for our shit. Plus we heard great things about his intricately-carved red Steinway concert grand piano and two concert grands fabricated in bronze supporting two cast bronze bulls entitled On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. Furthermore, we adore New Zealand wine (especially free New Zealand wine). After trolling around the dead-end alleys of the Dorsodoro neighborhood for an hour or so we finally managed our way into the Palazzo. Our persistence burned off thousands of calories and we were also treated to some live piano music.

IMG_6202 italian teenager2 (3)
Another calorie-burner was finding our new friends who were showing at the Central Asia Pavilion in their exhibit entitled Lingua Franca. The Biennial Project has always had a special camaraderie with the former Soviet Asian Nations like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan or any of the other 'stans’. We love all the stan countries. We knew exactly the location of this pavilion being positioned near The Palazzo Grazzi and the pavilions of Iran, Estonia, and Slovenia. We partied hard with the Slovenian accordion players our first night in town. Even if we knew where to find them we did not know that The Central Asian Pavilion was located on the very top floor of the Palazzo Maipiero on San Marco 3199-3201. Climbing the narrow stairs to see the work of our friends Natalia Andrianova or Artyom Ernst reminded us of our hike up Zailisky Alatau Mountain overlooking the beaches of Lake Issyk-Kul. outside of Almaty, Kazakhstan. We took that excursion last April with the artists Said ATABEKOV, Galim MADANOV and Zauresh TEREKBAY. I guess they were getting us ready for 160 stories ascent to see their work at the Biennale. None-the-less, this climb yielded us firmer, perkier, European-style asses that promote the important work of The Biennial Project.

Said Atabekov1IMG_6185KyrgyztanNatalia ANDRIANOVA1
Being squeezed into small spaces will make you thin as well. You know how they say that fish grow to the size of their bowls; well, The Biennial Project resides in the huge open expanses of America. Knowing it is wasteful to take up as much space as we do in our giant McMansions with bathrooms the size of whole neighborhoods in Kolkata, our bodies none-the-less adapt. American asses spread out all over our so-called wide-open plains. When in Venice we really feel our girth the first time when we step into a shower or sleep in a small bed. This makes us feel uncomfortable and….well, FAT. Subconsciously, I think we eat less simply because there is no room for us behind the tiny, little tables, in the tiny, little cafes. When someone guesses that we are American on the overcrowded vaporetto, we say to ourselves it is because of our distinctly American shoes(sneakers). Really? In truth we know the Europeans recognize us because we are huge. They are really thinking that we are taking up way too much space on the vaporetto and they hope against hope that we will spread our weight out evenly around the boat to avoid capsizing. This, in turn, makes us feel shame and we react by eating less.

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So yes, The Venice Biennale is a great place to get thin. In Venice you can walk your asses off, starve, smoke and loosen your bowels by drinking too much. You actually never have to take a solid shit ever again!! The crappy, over-priced food looks especially unappetizing after a night of free vino. After skipping a few meals your body adapts and you eventually don’t feel hunger anymore. You actually start to enjoy the high you get from the out-of-wacky-glucose-levels reinforced by the terrific compliments you get. Nicotine speeds up your metabolism as well so smoke away. The more you inhale, the thinner you get!! Who needs The Biggest Loser Ranch in Fitness Ridge, UtahjQuery1520414659285833089_1342724123170jQuery15208328245705791499_1342724194449  Simply spend your money on a trip to the Venice Biennale and smoke and drink too much. You, too, can come home undernourished, bony and ashen like a true successful international artist.

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Less of Us

Memories of The 53rd Biennale Closing Ceremony

by the-biennial-project 26. November 2011 11:50

With great emotions, this day marks the close of yet another Venice
Soon, Thomas Hisrschorn's crystal meth nightmare entitled ‘Crystal
of Resistance’
and Tabaimo’s soothing dream 'Teleco-Soup' will be laid to rest
like all of the other beautifully provocative art we saw all summer and


A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely
unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

We offer a pat on the head to our good friend and colleague Bice Curiger for a job
well done with La Biennale di Venezia 54 entitled ILLUMInations (spelled
with a Capital I, capital L, another capital L, big letter U and finally a
capital M) We agree that the utopian, neoliberal idea that we can escape
such boundaries is what curator Curiger attempts to support with a hint of
neo-romanticism(even if she could not find us space in the Arsenale).

Hopefully Bicey took some time off this fall and took our advise and used our cottage at Kennebunk Gallery Motel & Cottages in Kennebunk, Maine which we
call The Compound. The Kennebunk Gallery Motel & Cottages
is a family owned complex in the "heart" of the Kennebunk and they honor a
AAA discount. We told her to take  advantage of the off season rates which
include accommodations in the Small Cottage for $55.00 for two adults, the
two bedroom cottage for $95.00 or the motel room which is
$55.00 a night for two adults.This price includes FREE beach parking passes
FREE morning coffee served in the office. Kennebunk Compound Website

Kennebunk Gallery Motel & Cottages2Kennebunk Gallery Motel & Cottages1Kennebunk Gallery Motel & Cottages3

Anyhow with all this closing stuff of the Biennale going on we can't help
but remember the good time we had hosting the Closing Ceremony for the 53rd


Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the
things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years


Here is a You Tube Video of our esteemed event during precious  last hours
of The 53rd Biennale entitled 'Making Worlds'.


We also want to celebrate this occasion as the evening we were enchanted for
the first time by one of our most treasured, ardent and colorful fans, VITO.
Vito occupies a permanent place in our minds and hearts for his performance
of ‘We Are The World’  with Laura at the end of Closing Reception for the 53rd
Venice Biennale
hosted by us, The Biennial Project. After our our party we
were woeful because in all the excitement we lost his contact information.
Well the despair absconded because this June Vito showed up to our Boston
Online Biennial Reception
during the opening week of this years Biennale!! He brought his own theatrical performance and did a reading of Oscar Wilde.


Vito also brought it all home and he and Laura conjured up their best drunken Donny and Marie and revisited the musical splendor from two years before.


We were electrified by his presence and his encore performance. Sadly, once
again we lost his contact information.


  A good performance, like a human life, is a temporal affair‹a process in
time. It is good as a whole through being good in its parts, and through
their good order to one another. It cannot be called good as a whole until
it is finished. During the process all we can say of it, if we speak
precisely, is that it is becoming good. The same is true of a whole human
life. Just as the whole performance never exists at any one time, but is a
process of becoming, so a human life is also a performance in time and a
process of becoming. And just as the goodness that attaches to the
performance as a whole does not attach to any of its parts, so the goodness
of a human life as a whole belongs to it alone, and not to any of its parts
or phases.
Mortimor J. Adler


Venice Biennale Campaigns

November Fan of the Month….REVEALED!!!!

by the-biennial-project 16. November 2011 08:40

As all of the Biennial Project Fan Faithful know, The Biennial Project has made a career of Unapologetic-Shameless-Self-Serving-Promotion to get to the place where we are today! We have climbed and clawed ourselves over the backs of any artist, any art-viewing-poser and of course and above all else any critic or naysayer who deemed it appropriate to stand in our way!! And voila! Here we stand—poised to climb atop the heap that is the pinnacle of the art world.


But, it is now November….and whether or not it is due to being bombarded by turkey and dressing ads and commercials since before Labor Day (after all, we must always serve our staying-current-with-all-things media-bound muse at the end of the day ) we, The Biennial Project, must join Regis and Kelly, Kathy Lee and Hoda and of course The Ladies of the View to give pause and be thankful!!


For every now and then…once in the bluest of blue blue moons you have the great fortune to cross paths with a really remarkable person…..

Someone who you just CLICK with….

Someone who laughs at your jokes (yes, ALL of them!!!)….

Someone who (CORRECTLY) thinks that you are brilliant….

You know, someone who just GETS you….

And this person fires on all of the above cylinders without monetary or sexual remuneration !!!

In The Biennial Project’s case we have had the blessing of experiencing this type of relationship with not one but TWO remarkable persons at the same time!!!

Both are multi-faceted artists in their own rights….


He, according to reknowned Blues Blogger Georgetown Fats, wears many hats-- journalist, columnist, vocalist, guitarist, southern gentleman-- in order to keep his music going. He is probably best recognized as the frontman for his band, Scissormen though in the past year he can add “movie star” to the list since starring in the well-received latest indie documentary by Robert Mugge--“BigShoes: Walking and Talking the Blues.”


She is an accomplished musician and photographer but most recently devotes her noteworthy artistic energies to being CEO, President, and Creative Head Honcho of Pets Rules Jewels—a kick-ass-fun-and-funky custom jewelry company that specializes in creating one of-a-kind pieces featuring images of your own very special best furry friends!! Pets Rule Jewels also has contributed to such wonderful causes as Greyhound and other canine rescue efforts.

BOTH of these individuals have been known to worship REGULARLY at The Temple of The Biennial Project (and let’s face it, that alone is something to get ANYONE some requisite Fan Of The Month brownie points!!!)

He, after reading one of our many blog posts/Constant Contact blasts, was known to remark:

“ I love reading these. The tone is taught and funny, the art world humor great, the take on aesthetics and modern culture is spot on. You guys rock!”

No WONDER we think he is AWESOME!!!

starnes photo

She hand-makes every AMAZING pair of Biennial Project earrings that you see featured all throughout our photography and video oeuvre…..and oh, by the way, YOU TOO can own a pair of these ROCKING ART ROCK STAR EARRINGS!!!! Just contact her!

They are the parents of the rescued and much-loved Dolly the Dog and are just in general SUPER COOL.

So it is with MUCH FANFARE (cue major drum rolls) and ADMIRATION that we tip our collective Biennial Project Hats to the November Fans of the Month…..






Catch the Red Hot Smokin’ Guitar String Shreddin’ ScissormenTHIS THURSDAY!!! November 17……

The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA to headline the “Regent Roots ‘n’ Blues Revue.”

Anybody who buys an advance reserved seating ticket gets a free copy of the live concert CD cut in Switzerland last year. The band will be available in the lobby and after the show to autograph 'em. The show also includes some great artists who are all good friends and fantastic entertainers: the Peter Parcek 3 (whose debut album Ted produced), the Ten Foot Polecats and the Powerhouse Berklee Band. Plus the concert will culminate in an all-star grand finale jam.

Stay up to date with all of the band’s high jinx at






The Biennial Project


Fan of the Month

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