The Biennial Project forms a band...........

by the-biennial-project 14. October 2014 16:29

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POOR LINDSEY….(Anna and Eric watch TV)

by the-biennial-project 22. September 2013 14:44

 

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Come All Ye Faithful

by the-biennial-project 23. December 2012 09:04

Sometime living as an artist makes you feel like you live on the Island of Misfit Toys.

island of misfit toys2 (2)

 

We especially can feel this over the holidays when we are forced to co-mingle with our families - who don't quite understand why we do the things we do, and why we don't have much money to show for it.

 

Well for those of us creatives who either did not go to their families of birth this holiday or simply forgot to make plans, The Biennial Project is inviting you to celebrate this blessed holiday with us.

Please join The Biennial Project at The Boston Biennial 2012 exhibit being held at The Gallery at Spencer Lofts at 60 Dudley Street in Chelsea, MA on Christmas Day (that’s December 25th) from 3pm-5pm.

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Come and drink the milk and eat the cookies Santa didn't get to because he choose not to visit you this year either because you behaved poorly (yes you are a drunken tramp) or simply because he doesn't exist.

 

 

 The Gallery at Spencer Lofts


60 Dudley Street


Chelsea, MA


3pm-5pm


FREE

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How To Build an Art Movement

by the-biennial-project 20. November 2012 07:54

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Hey Artists and Art-Lovers out there!

When The Biennial Project Team was participating in the 2009 Venice Biennale, one
of the coolest of the many cool folks we met was German-born film-maker Alec Onsemska (seen at left mugging for the camera the day we met him). He's ridiculously talented, speaks about a million languages, and travels the world like a true jet-setter. He's also very insightful about the art world.

 

As luck would have it, Alec is spending this year teaching film history at Harvard - and recently wrote a super interesting article about the Boston art scene. Even though he wrote it in response to his experience here in Boston - it's relevant to artists everywhere, so we wanted to share it with our readers. So here we go:  

 

 

An Open Letter to Boston Artists

By Alec X. Onsemska

 

"So here I find myself, a European artist and art-lover teaching in Boston this winter. I wanted to offer a few impressions on the local art scene from the perspective of a visitor, in the hope that they could be of some use to the multitudes of great artists who call this fiercely gorgeous city home.

 

Yes, multitudes of great artists and gorgeous city. I know, you're shaking your collective heads now, wondering where I got off the plane, and that's exactly the problem.

 

Boston artists have internalized the general Bostonian characteristic of trash-talking their own town, and their own art. Now don't get me wrong, I get the tell-it-like-it-is, a-million-stories-in-the-cold-city esthetic that permeates your hard-ass Boston soul, making the display of anything resembling enthusiasm as un-hip as betraying the neighborhood or talking to the cops, and it is one of the many qualities that makes me feel at home here. I am German after all, and we are a people also acquainted with the night.

 

But really, enough is enough. There is a point where embracing the middle-of-the-night futility of it all passes over from being recognition of reality to causing said reality to suck worse than it does already (something we Germans alas also know a thing or two about).

 

So, although it's not as familiar as lamenting how the art scene here sucks, and that anything that's worth happening only happens in New York, let's take a moment to talk a little truth about this town that doesn't suck for a change. 

 

To start, Boston is an amazing, one-of-a-kind city, the kind they don't make anymore, what's more, and you know it. That's why you came here or decided to stay.

 

Everywhere you look is this ridiculously majestic blue ocean, and it's not vapid vacation-land ocean - it's the take-no-prisoners cold Atlantic, with giant tankers approaching and receding on the horizon like dream cities. Talk about your end-of-continent sadness. Boston's ocean is a working ocean, and Boston is a working city - where being the real thing matters, and how. The only city I know of where local boys get rich getting Hollywood to tell its story from the side of the 'townies".

 

Boston is at the centre of the most progressive region of this country, and has been at the forefront of innumerable important intellectual, social and political movements. 

 

Tell the truth - you didn't have to live here - you could have moved to New York, or la la land, or wherever hip people were supposed to go - but you chose to live here. Not to deny New York it's due, but every not-born-rich person I know who lives there actually lives two towns away or works 3 jobs to pay for their little scrap of paradise.

 

And the NY art scene, yes, it's cool, cool, cool, but so is the Berlin art scene, and the Peking art scene, and the San Paulo art scene, and undoubtedly a lot of art scenes that most people have never heard of.

Because that's the thing about cool scenes - their key quality is their ability to define their coolness on their own terms. And cool art scenes that exist in the mainstream consciousness are usually not as cool as they are thought to be, because once the mainstream comprehends and begins to absorb them, the independent people start to move on.

 

For art to be meaningful, we must be truly the avant-garde of society, defining our own terms, rather than chasing advertizing agency notions of hipness. Berlin, once an extremely unlikely art-world mecca, became "cool" because its artists stopped chasing Paris or any other art "centre", and instead spent their time creating art and art communities on the ground where they lived.

 

Why do I tell you this Boston?

 

Because of all the places I've visited in the states, you have the most potential to stop chasing the commercial centre and just be great. A great city, with great art schools, where cutting-edge artists live in droves - you have the power to be cool on you own terms.

 

Among the many artists I love here are the innovators from the Boston-based (yes!) art collaborative known as The Biennial Project - who, by doing a fantastic parody of artist success-seeking at the pillars of official art-dom, and by demanding to know why they (we) are not good enough to succeed, point the way for artists to just get down to work in the here and now. 

 

Their upcoming 2012 Boston Biennial is exactly the sort of project that's needed - riffing on the lure of the 'biennial" world, while placing the carrot right here at home where it should be, and cutting out the "critical" intermediary by organizing an artist-controlled biennial. We need more of this.

 

Boston, to your places!"

 

bostongwhgreat

 

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OK, it's us again. He's right you know. To find out more about entering The 2012 Boston Biennial - OK, it's us again. He's right you know. To find out more about entering The 2012 Boston Biennial - 
 
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Free Pussy Riot

by the-biennial-project 18. August 2012 15:31

by Martha McCollough, for The Biennial Project

 Pussy_Riot.jbig “Only in Russia do they respect poetry. They even kill you for it.” —Osip Mandelstam.


The “crime”: 

 

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The “criminals”:

Pussy Riot. “we realized that this country needs a militant, punk-feminist, street band that will rip through Moscow's streets and squares, mobilize public energy against the evil crooks of the Putinist junta and enrich the Russian cultural and political opposition with themes that are important to us: gender and LGBT rights, problems of masculine conformity, absence of a daring political message on the musical and art scenes, and the domination of males in all areas of public discourse.”

Interview with Pussy Riot

http://www.vice.com/read/A-Russian-Pussy-Riot

(This interview is a must-read.)

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 The charge: Hooliganism?!

What is hooliganism and why could a conviction put Pussy Riot in prison for seven years? 

“any deliberate behaviour which violates public order and expresses explicit disrespect towards the society."

This law was often used by Soviet authorities against political dissidents and clearly still comes in handy.

Sounds like a punk band’s job description, and the kind of activity politically aware artists everywhere should be ready to embrace.


What did they actually say?


“The protest song Virgin Mary, redeem us of Putin was performed in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on 21 February 2012 by several members of the feminist Pussy Riot group with their faces covered in balaclavas.

The song calls on Virgin Mary to become a feminist and banish Vladimir Putin. It also criticizes the dedication and support shown to Putin by some representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It was one of a number of performances intended as a protest against Vladimir Putin in the run-up to Russia's presidential elections in March.”

—Amnesty International

Read the Amnesty International article 


Where are they now?

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Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who are accused of “hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred” have now been behind bars for months —Amnesty International


Check this statement by one of the prosecutors: "All the defendants talked about being feminists and said that is allowed in the Russian Orthodox church," said Yelena Pavlova, a lawyer for several of the nine
complainants who claimed they were insulted by Pussy Riot's performance.

"This does not correspond with reality. Feminism is a mortal sin." [Prosecutors] also argued that the leader of the church, Patriarch Kirill, had been personally insulted and was "not just an ordinary citizen".

(read an article on Madonna support for Pussy Riot).

 

The treatment Pussy Riot has received suggests that Russia is sliding back into dictatorship, with Putin, their main target, as untouchable strong man, supported by a religious institution so patriarchal its leader is known as The Patriarch.

Their trial is only one of many example of how the Russian justice system is being abused by the powerful, but artists everywhere need to show solidarity with Pussy Riot.

There are parts of the United States where fundamentalists are attempting to institute functional theocracy. The religious right has a history of attempting to silence artists, from Andre Serrano to Robert Mapplethorpe. As their political power increases, will artists begin to self-censor in order to be able to show their work? Have they
already?

The attention Pussy Riot has is receiving has turned their incarceration into a PR problem for Putin and the Russian Orthodox church. Both the church hierarchy and Vladimir Putin have said they believe Pussy Riot should be treated with leniency. Attentive to the wishes of their master, prosecutors are asking for three years imprisonment for Pussy Riot.

The “verdict”:

All three women were found guilty this Friday by a Moscow court and sentenced to two years in a penal colony. The judge declared that the women posed a danger to society and had  committed “grave crimes” including “the insult and humiliation of the Christian faith”.

Russian chess champion Gary Kasparov arrested protesting the Pussy Riot verdict

 

 

Russian chess champion Gary Kasparov arrested protesting the Pussy Riot verdict.

 

 

This conviction follows several recently passed laws cracking down on opposition to Putin, including one that raises the fine for participating in “unauthorized” demonstrations by 150 times to 300,000 rubles (about $9,000). On the same day as the Pussy Riot sentence was handed down, a Russian court continued the ban on Gay Pride events for the next 100 years.

The Orthodox Church, whose primate Patriarch Kirill is closely allied with the Putin regime, said in a statement after the verdict that the band's stunt was a "sacrilege". The Patriarch also stated that he forgives the “girls” and is praying for them to change their ways, while noticeably not asking for a pardon.

Pussy Riot’s lawyers plan an immediate appeal.


You need to help Pussy Riot

to defend free speech in Russia.

Go to

Amnesty International Pussy Riot Campaign

http://www2.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/sms-action-network/pussy-riot


to find out what you can do.


And in case you think Pussy Riot are a bunch of silly twats who don’t deserve your support and are only getting noticed because of their stupid name, a) you are an asshole, and b) Here’s a link that’s serious as a heart-attack. Happy now?

serious as a heart attack article

http://chtodelat.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/support-pussy-riot-by-all-means-but-support-the-kazakh-oil-workers-too/

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