The Boston Biennial 3 Introduces You to Some Amazing Art and Artists

by the-biennial-project 2. August 2014 12:57

 

The Boston Biennial 3 opened July 17th at Atlantic Works Gallery to a packed crowd of artists and art lovers!

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If for some silly reason you missed this not-to-be-missed event, here’s a link to a video of the selected work:

Boston Biennial 3 Selected Artwork

 

And here is a sampling of some of this great art with comments on the pieces by the artists, plus links to see more work:

Open Arms, by Walter Kopec

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"This land is your my land, this land is my land..." Of course we were here first and it's our inalienable right of, you know, Finders Keepers. And it's not like we are bordering on paranoia... it's just that we don't create the problems... and it's not like we are the ones who are different... and that word..." alien"... but... I say we should be kinder... let's be gentler... no need to fortify the fences, nor buttress the barricades, forget the burdensome obstacles... we'll just welcome with Open Arms.

See more at: walterkopec.com

 

 

Memories Lost/Found #1 - Memories "undergo a complex process of reconstruction during retrieval." (Damasio; Feeling of What Happens, 227), by Laura Krasnow

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For me, defining a sense of place is the allure of the photographic image.  The instant, when time and place seem to merge to catch a moment.  But it is the imperceptible connections I seek to define.....when something catches your peripheral vision, but is gone when you turn for a longer glimpse.  My photographs aim to force the viewer to look beyond the obvious....to be present and aware of the physical and spiritual light within the subtleness.....to reveal the essence beyond the normal visual spectrum.

 

See more at: http://laurakrasnow.com

 

 

Frida, by Rachel Shatil

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The pieces shown on the BB3 slide-show are part of a series which I call "The Absent Family". Every chair represent one person, usually a family member, most of whom vanished from the face of the earth during the most horrific assault performed by humans against their own kind, known as "The Holocaust". The stories of those people were told by my mother, a holocaust survivor, who embodied an incurable trauma, and dedicated her life to pass on her testimony. The chair called "Frida" represents a center figure in the story, my late grandmother and my mother's hero. She was last seen alive in the fall of 1943.

See more at http://www.rachelshatil.com

 

 

Notes on "ONE (A Space Timeline)", by Majorie Kaye

My sculpture has been about layering and piling cut pieces on top of each other, which lends itself to mirror natural forms such as pinecones, rock formations, etc.  It also is a statement and study of cause and effect, one piece's situation leading to the next, which is responsible in part, acting as magnetism, for phenomena in the natural world. In this piece, I have begun to utilize shingles, gluing them together, as they form a kind of wedge.  These are placed in between the cut plywood pieces to create an uneven area in between.  This leads to many possibilities of snake-like motions, "U", shapes, etc. The bending and warping of the layers created by the wedges signifies the warping of time, suggesting events on a timeline, and a oneness of space emerges.  This is the realization that time is an illusion, one big point in an endless stream of being.

See more at www.marjoriekayeart.com

 

 

All We Are Arises From Our Thoughts, by Carolyn Wirth

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This image is really a collaboration between me and my photographer, Teresa Coates (http://www.coatesestudio.com), who has a strong vision of the noir-ness in my sculpture. This piece is called "All We Are Arises From Our Thoughts," which is a fortune-cookie saying from my new series of the same name. In a lighthearted mood, I think of this sculpture as an encounter between Ozymandias and Chuckie. More pensively, I imagine it as embodying the divide between thought and feeling.

See more at http://cvw198.wordpress.com

 

 

Exuviae: barnacle (TAG0074), by Adamo Macri

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Exuviae is an ongoing project. The basis: an ecosystem built with a multitude of sculptural works created, then photographed. Collectively forming a photographic, abstract plantation. An allegorical narrative dealing with the delicacy of nature and its potential deceptive beauty. This particular photograph is one of the artworks in the Exuviae project.

See more at adamomacri.blogspot.ca, and facebook.com/Adamo.Macri

 

 

In Perpetuity, by Marlene Siff

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In Perpetuity is one part of 47 paintings, works on paper and sculptures that became a solo exhibition at the Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, 2012. The exhibition entitled "Elements Of Peace" was my response to a desire to create spaces and gateways for people of all walks of life to come together to reflect on war and peace and to commemorate our "Fallen Heroes" in Afghanistan. All of the paintings entered in the BB3 are part of the series "Elements Of Peace".

See more at www.marlenesiff.com

 

 

Flirtation of meeting and parting, by Hildy Maze

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To live the wound of love and yet not become scarred by despair or cynicism is a great living secret. How to live wounded without being chased by shadows and not merely 'endure'.

 

See more at http://hildymaze.com, and

http://issuu.com/artistportfoliomagazine/docs/northvssouth/87?e=2382761/8424055

 

 

LEGO Firearms 2014, by David Turner

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I am a Belfast-based artist who creates autobiographical work through toy mediums that reflect conflict, terrorism, and evoke critical commentary on present day violence and war.Growing up in turbulent Belfast, I was surrounded by violence and conflict. These events have had a direct influence on my life and artwork, causing me to revisit my adolescence and recreate these memories with childhood mediums such as LEGOs, Hama Beads, Plasticine, and jigsaw puzzles. My artwork presents a platform that is both a direct reflection of my childhood and the conflict I have experienced, as well as giving a voice to current atrocities, be they children of war, child soldiers, or children who have lost their lives or a loved one to gun violence. My most recent series of work have materialized in many forms, from two-dimensional depictions to fully functioning firearms, which break down contentions of representation and offer new and exploratory directions for investigating themes of conflict, war, self, and popular culture.

See more athttp://www.belfastarts.co.uk/ and

http://jungkatz.com/2014/07/03/artist-interview-david-turner/

 

 

 

3000 ans d'errance, by Christine Comeau

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3000 ans d'erranceis a performed installation, a choreographed tableau vivant. It is about the wandering of a small community of nomadic creatures pulling with them their mobile home. They are both curious and frightened by the discovery of this peculiar world. The topics of this project are about nomadism, exile, identities and networks between human being and their environment.The carts and tents have been made during a two months artists residency at Est-Nord-Est artists run center, St-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec, in 2011. A photo shooting and a parade have been organized in the streets of the village and near the Saint-Laurent river, in the province of Quebec, Canada.

 See more at www.christinecomeau.com

 

 

A delicate Balance, by Nick Nazzaro

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Originally this piece was going to be specifically about student debt, since I'm a recent college goer. After a lot of brooding, it became more about the 1% on top in general, with emphasis on the harm on they can cause. Some of these guys are true cartoon characters, getting away with dastardly deeds you'd only see from a goofy villain. If it wasn't so frighteningly sad, it'd be comical. My favorite part of the piece is the face. I wanted to bring it back to reality a little bit, and show this ugly mug, with a half finished, sort of sloppy, extremely red face. This whole process presented me with the question, "Are these people at top being corrupted by the money they make, or are only the corrupt able to get to the top?" 

See more at http://nicknazzaro.com

 

The Boston Biennial 3 is up until August 21st, so come on by and take a look:

ATLANTICWORKS.ORG

And come to the GALA BOSTON BIENNIAL CLOSING RECEPTION AUGUST 21ST 6-9PM!!!

 

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BIENNIAL ROADSHOW MARFA A SMASHING SUCCESS OF COURSE! by Anna Salmeron

by the-biennial-project 21. April 2014 13:48

"I'll tell you this. No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn", Texas Radio and the Big Beat

 

A brief history of the past:
Near the beginning, there arose a prophet through whom the word* was revealed. He so reviled the sinfulness of the city that he determined to create a purer place where study of the word would be facilitated. He chose a small town in the remote Texas dessert for his endeavor, and commenced to create a grand compound of many buildings furnished to his detailed specifications. Word spread of the accomplishments of the prophet, and others who recognized the correctness of the his vision gravitated to this place. Pilgrims seeking a better understanding of the word began to travel there for study and reflection, which continues to this day.

A brief history of the week of 3/29-4/6/14
One small band of fervent seekers, also weary of the city and it's sin and endless dirty snow, arrives in said town for a week of such study and reflection.

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Being a group with a long-established affinity for the wrong side of the tracks, they set up camp on the trailer-trash side of town. In trailers. Literally.

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There they commence their study of the word, and of the town. Here follow a few impressions from this leg of their ongoing spiritual journey:

 

The Donald - thank you eternally Sir for having constructed pyramids in honor of your escaping, and thank you for letting us look at them - even if you didn't let us take pictures. Perfectly imposing constructions laid out just-so against the backdrop of the luscious Chihuahua dessert. Marvelous. Memorable. We were impressed, even if an evil little voice did whisper in our ear once or twice that as a theology it was perhaps just a wee bit, well, tidy.

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Dan Flavor Flav Flavin - This we loved. Totally intoxicating. So much visual pleasure we felt like kids on a truly excellent sugar high. This work alone would have made the trip worth it.

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Prada Marfa - The emptiness of commercialism. The fetishism of commodities. Man-made vs natural environments. Decay over time. The usual themes handled here with an extremely deft touch. Plus, it's fun. You try doing that. (Note to the State of Texas - we have a deal for you - back off on your plan to tear this place down and we agree to allow George W. Bush to continue to call himself a painter.)

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El Cosmico - The above-mentioned trailer park. Only it's a trailer park as re-imagined by generous gurus on a particularly good batch of windowpane.  The perfect spot for your next wedding, bar mitzvah, acid trip. Did we mention the hot tubs?

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Biennial Roadshow Marfa Opening Reception - The main event, held at El Cosmico. Sublime. The transcendence of life lived among art and artists. So much glorious art, and artists and art lovers to share it with. Proving once again that art is reason enough not to put a gun to your head. Did we mention the hot tubs?

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One of the highlights of the night was artist Artemis Herber – one of the prize winners and a truly amazing artist and person, speaking about her work. We are in total awe of her.

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Check out more of her work here: artemisherber.com

Then there was the also amazing and really nice Karen Rosenkrantz – on the left below at the reception - who showed work from her witty and apropos series Cowboys, and had this to say about the event afterwards: Thanks so much for including me .. It was an interesting experience. I think I was particularly impressed that the entire cast of characters (of course) just showed up: artists, gallerists, curators , and buyers. ... Pretty amazing and nicely done. All the best.”  Right back at you Karen – you are great!

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Check out more of Karen’s work here: karenrosenkrantz.com

Another great participant was Ginny Barrett, who brought her human and canine entourage down from Austin for the event:

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We love her and her work! See more at: ginnybarrett.com

See all the Biennial Roadshow Marfa art here:

See the Biennial Roadshow prizewinners here:

Because this work is great, and because as artists ourselves we take seriously our responsibility to publicize the fuck out of your work, we are going to show all the Biennial Roadshow Marfa artwork on a large sreen for the entire Boston Biennial 2015 (July/August - Atlantic Works Gallery Boston). Come one, come all!

 

Community of Marfa and Environs - We offer our most most profound un-ironic thanks for warming our hearts, tanning our faces, and sending us back to Gomorrah with a skip in our step. Such a gorgeous, unique huge little town. We'll be back if you'll have us.

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There is lots more to be told about Marfa. But it will have to wait for now. El Cosmico doesn't have cable, and those re-runs of Project Runway don't watch themselves.

XXOO,

The Biennial Project, in collaboration with the Biennial Roadshow Marfa Advisory Group.

* And the word is Minimalism.  (Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. Minimalism derives from the reductive aspects of Modernism and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postminimal art practices.)

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Why The Biennial Project Matters

by the-biennial-project 9. March 2014 13:22

The Biennial Project, a dynamic new collective body of work by artists Eric Hess, Anna Salmeron and an ever-expanding group of collaborators, takes off from one elegantly simple organizing principle.

Several mid-career visual artists (The Biennial Project members, playing themselves), feeling that their work merits greater acclaim, set out on a pilgrimage to discover the secrets to success at the top levels of the art world.

Drawing upon the phenomenon of prestigious national and international biennial exhibits, and their role within the art world in determining which artists will be granted global recognition, near celebrity status and high commodity values for their art, as well as the nearly universal desire by artists to have the opportunity to exhibit at such venues - 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.

Moving on two planes simultaneously, unmasking both the appeal and the hollowness of success in an arena often dominated by players with a financial stake in promoting their own artist and venues, the project is an exhilaratingly gonzo field trip into the internal landscape of the artistic consciousness.

Taking advantage of the substantial charisma and performative abilities of member artists, as well as their unique chemistry as a working group, the collective produces a body of work that succeeds in simultaneously identifying with and mocking the grasping aspirationalism and bewildered sense of unfulfilled entitlement underlying much artistic endeavor today. Creative people everywhere will recognize themselves in the collective’s deadpan portrayal of the misadventures of our befuddled crusaders as they attempt to scale to the peaks of the art world.

The Biennial Project member artists are part of a generation of global artists whose aesthetic identities transcend simplistic categorization. While clearly referencing the development of art in the post modern period, the body of work they have created wears its citations lightly. The aesthetic vocabulary and narrative strategy it adopts have an uncanny command of idiom, and succeed in making surprising connections between seemingly disparate ideas and media.

The Biennial Project has an intentionally breezy tongue in cheek quality that could not have existed without the example of the currently de-rigueur post-modern ironic detachment. But by folding post-modernism’s disjunctive effect back onto the unvarnished ambition of its group of earnest pilgrims, the Project elicits a frisson between its inherent irony and the sincerity and desire of purpose that lie beneath - and as such represents a reinvigoration of the expressive potential of post-modernism.

By adapting conventions of advertising signage and promotion, and by harnessing the associative power of corporate branding as a way to promote the agenda of the project, they raise the question of where the line lies between acceptable ‘fine art” self-promotion and embarrassing hucksterism. They deftly appropriate popular vernacular associated with “reality” programming in which contestants, often with no special skills or accomplishments, vie for fame and fortune. The prize here is art world success – with the quest at turns poignant and ridiculous.

But rather than devolving into a meditation on life’s inevitable disappointments, the Project artists create a dazzling deconstruction of the myth of the self made artist. Determined to raise themselves up by their portfolio straps, they present an ironic take on the ever-resonant American success myth – that if one bangs hard enough on the door to success, and persists at all turns with an undoubting and simple-minded positivism, like the little engine that could – in the end one will be rewarded with success. With squirm-inducing directness they implicate the viewer and force their audience to confront it’s own complex set of motivations and desires vis-à-vis art world success – thereby allowing no safe viewing distance from which to objectify our hopeful crusaders and their relentless “It’s About Us” mantra.

This rhetorical strategy also deconstructs an impulse that is central to the history of minimalist art – the desire to make art in such a way as to reduce or erase the fingerprint of the individual artist. Standing this convention on its head, the Project deliberately plays to and with the personas of its member artists. In this context, telling idiosyncrasies and autobiographical references resonate with irresistible particularity.

As one follows the infectious high-jinks of this band of merry pranksters “acting in the gap between art and life” (a la Rauschenberg), mining ideas from high and low art and appropriating them to the service of their cause, one realizes the extent of their accomplishment. They have fashioned a deceptively simple construct which manages to collapse the conventional dichotomy between art and commerce into a new genus, and with this paradigmatic shift have succeeded in locating The Biennial Project at precisely the nerve center of the current zeitgeist. With their finger firmly on the pulse of art-making today, their work is uniquely relevant – addressing several of the core questions confronting artists and their supporters at this historical juncture. Bravo!

Clea Saharoli, September 2013

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Shit We Liked at The Venice Biennale 55 by Eric Hess

by the-biennial-project 13. October 2013 12:36

imageSo it’s been a few months since we, the Biennial Project attended the glamorous preview week of the Venice Biennale.

Only now have we recovered from our hangovers, washed the glitter from our private parts and sorted out our brains from the overwhelming visual stimulus that is The Venice Biennale.

We realize that the art show closes in a month and that many of you still haven’t made plans to go.

TBP are procrastinators too and generally we catch shows the day they close like you.

The Biennial Project thought maybe if we shared with you just a little of what we liked of what we saw of the ‘Superbowl of Art’ we could get your asses in gear to go see the assemblage of creations located in Venezia for the next month.

It would be impossible to cover all we loved in one article so hopefully there will be follow ups leading right up to the closing day.

We loved Turner prize-winning artist Mark Leckey, ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’. At first we thought this was the sub-theme for the whole Biennale. Somewhat fitting don’t you agree? But it was just some more art mixed in with the other art. Whatever, we liked it. Plus it was from England like our dear friend Tom Estes.

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The Russian Pavilion floored us. And that’s not only because they had a big old hole in their floor. Despite the injustices Vladimir Putin signed into laws against gays in Russia this past summer, we have to say we can separate all that bullshit and still enjoy The Russian representation of this year’s Biennale. Actually the artist Vadim Zakharov, addresses the injustices in today’s Russian society in his piece Danae. Hopefully he doesn’t end up in jail.

In Greek Mythology Danae is impregnated by Zeus who appears to her as a Shower of Golden Rain.

It seems as if pissing on one another was a cheap thrill even in ancient times. Anyhow, our buddy Vadim demonstrates this by dropping 200,000 gold coins continuously from 2 stories up through a hole in the floor (the vagina for those of you who need this spelled out) to the basement.

Only female visitors are allowed on the bottom floor with an umbrella to protect them from the golden shower (of coins, not urine you perverts). A really, really sexy man with a well-fitted suit drops these coins on the women. Around him is the phrase ‘Gentlemen, time has come to confess our Rudeness, Lust, Narcissism, Demagoguery, Falsehood, Banality, and Greed, Cynicism, Robbery, Speculation, Wastefulness, Gluttony, Seduction, Envy and Stupidity."

So what Mr. Zakharov is really doing is acknowledging the fact the Russian society is segregated and treats different groups of people, in this case different genders, in different and unfair ways. Though this doesn’t directly address the outright gay torture the Russian government is inflicting on their gay population, Eric, of The Biennial Project, got a raging boner from the good looking Russian men yelling at him and would let them pee on him any day of the week. Thank you hot Russian men for not eating your asparagus, and fuck you Putin you fucker.

 

 

 

Another Artist we liked a whole lot was WILFREDO DIAZ VALDEZ, who represented Uruguay at THE URUGUAY PAVILION.

We didn’t only like Willy simply because he is kind sweet man with a kind sweet family.

We also didn’t just like him because he gave us a free autographed book or that he invited us to participate in the next Montevideo Biennial.

No, we weren’t even overcome with him simply because his son-in-law is an extremely hot looking, masculine type of Latin Man we all think about when we masturbate.

No - all these reasons were outshined by his incredible sculptures, which were made of found wooden objects modified and made into pieces that seem to impossibly balanced work with unexpected folds and joints.

He studies wood and the human interventions that have transformed it into utilitarian artifacts - at the same time examining how wood and utilitarian objects evolve. He dissects and observes the organic qualities inherent in the wood and its relationship with light—the role of photosynthesis and the effects of the passing of time—at the same time that he contemplates the historical and cultural contexts through which wood is transformed into artifacts for several uses.

Speaking of Uruguayan hotties (I mean aren’t we all always talking about the scrumptious men of Uruguay), we really enjoyed work by artist Martin Sastre - a perfume ad for his scent ‘U from Uruguay’.

At first we felt a little uncomfortable being that we, the Biennial Project, were in Venice to do our own European launch of our scent ‘Star of Venice’.  But then we figured, imitation is the best form of flattery and all he was doing was borrowing our totally original idea and making it his own.

Where our perfume breathes personal artistic success in the creative world, Martin’s fragrance leans towards social activism in the Art World.

Also he had the pretty cool idea to auction off ‘U From Uruguay’, also known as “Pepe's Perfume”.

“Pepe's Perfume” is made with the essences extracted from the flowers grown by the President of Uruguay – “Pepe” – aka José Alberto Mujica Cordano. President Mujica is an icon and global representative of Uruguayan culture. A former guerrilla fighter and member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, he has been described as "the world's 'poorest' president", given that he donates around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities to benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. Of the funds raised by Pepe’s Perfume, 90 percent will be designated to the creation of the first National Contemporary Art Fund in support of Latin American artists.

See, not only are Uruguayans irresistibly sexy, they also smell good, and they have the same socialist values we The Biennial Project aspire to.

This is the ad for U From Uruguay featuring the titillating and provocative artist Martin Sastre.

More importantly here is the ad for Star of Venice

 

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We were also psyched to see the work of Albert Oehlen.

We’ll tell you more about it later, but right now our typing finger needs a little rest.

 

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And we wanted to end this particular post about our discoveries in Venice on a special positive note.

We were very, very happy to see the lovely lady of Charles Ray’s “Fall ’91” again.

We had first stumbled across her, in all her power suit brilliance, in LA in the early 1990s - while on some sort of psychedelic drug (or two).

Now we know we that we really did see her. It wasn’t a mind trick (a common a side effect of hard drugs).

She really exists.

Damn. Venice rules.

 

XXOO,

The Biennial Project

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Who won the 2013 ArtVenice Biennale’s l'Invitation Palme d'Or?

by the-biennial-project 2. October 2013 15:51

The Biennial Project, as everybody knows, travels in the rarified circles of the World’s Most Elite Artists.

So when we set out to choose the artist who would be honored with the coveted l'Invitation Palme d'Or to participate in the 2013 ArtVenice Biennale, we obviously had a lot of great art to pick from.

We thought about Pussy Riot, friends of ours who have been shaking things up a bit recently in Mother Russia.

But upon considering the difficulty that they might have getting their work to us, we decided to limit our search to artists who are not currently confined to work camps.

This narrowed down the competition somewhat, but still left a lot of impressive art in the running.

But it was clear that there was one artist whose work just had to be part of our Biennale.

We are so very proud to announce that our friend Francisco Bassim was been chosen to receive the 2013 ArtVenice l'Invitation Palme d'Or.

We met Francisco at the 2011 Venice Biennale where he was was representing his country – Venezuela. (Did we mention that we have cool friends?)

In a Biennale in which there was some jaw-droppingly strong work, Francisco’s installation stood out.

Both artistically and politically au courant, brave, honest, gorgeous, sure to piss off the folks at the Vatican among others – Francisco is the total package.

And then there’s his work. Exactly the same. So damned cool.

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io majestuoso (autorretrato), obra de: francisco bassim

percepcion II

La realidad mata las fantasías, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: CARACAS 666

retrato autoII

Autoretrato de lo inevitable, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: CARACAS 666

el cristo desnudo

Descanso luego de la crucifixión,  obra de: francisco bassim,  de la serie: Cristo libre

crisss

Cristo de los dos géneros,  obra de: francisco bassim,  de la serie: Cristo libre

miranda en yare

Miranda en Yare, obra de: francisco bassim, de serie: Héroes de la independencia

mona

Mona del barrio con rollos para el bonche de esta noche, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: CARACAS 666

crsito escapa con judas

Cristo con polarcitas haciendo picnic con Judas y el Espíritu Santo en un barrio caraqueño luego de la crucifixión,
obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: CARACAS 666

tambien

No importa que tan famosa puedas ser, si lo dejas también serás una víctima,
obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: Violencia de género

cristo fue al paraiso

Cristo fue a El Paraíso, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: Cristo libre

mona en espera

Mona en espera, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: la mona Lisa

tal vez

No hay principes azules ni reinos de cuentos de hadas, obra de: francisco bassim,
de la serie: Violencia de género

papa5

Papa Francisco Videla I y lamentablemente no el último, obra de: francisco bassim

mona2

Una mala historia desde el comienzo hasta el final, obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: Violencia de género

mariaa

io a lo María Antonieta con polarcita y alucinando, (autorretrato),  obra de: francisco bassim

17io

io (autorretrato), obra de: francisco bassim

9io

io (autorretrato), obra de: francisco bassim

nueva historia 2

?, obra de: francisco bassim,  de la serie: Hitler mon amour 1

CRISTO VIVE 2

Cristo vive,  obra de: francisco bassim, de la serie: Cristo libre

rancho cabeza1

con el rancho en la cabezao, bra de francisco bassim, de la serie: CARACAS 666

SEE MORE ART FROM FRANCISCO BASSIM

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Nice Spice Rack - 55th Venice Biennale

by the-biennial-project 20. September 2013 12:33

(Editors note: Not everyone can afford to send a correspondent to the Venice Biennale Opening Week, the biggest and trendiest art event in the world – sort of the Olympics of the art world. But because we truly care about keeping you informed – we sent not just one, but an entire troupe of reporters – all wildly talented writers and artists who rented an enormous villa smack dab in the middle of Venice the better to report on all the action. Over the coming weeks, we will share with you their tales of champagne-soaked art and mayhem. Let the games begin:

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Nice Spice Rack - 55th Venice Biennale

by Kelly Stevens, Chief Biennial Project Art Correspondent

Be memorable or be anonymous. That’s the goal of every artist. Biennale artists are no different, but the stakes are higher in Venice. Over 300,000 art lovers will converge on Venice, Italy this summer to visit the 55th Venice Biennale. Over 150 artists representing 88 countries were selected to show by outfitting massive pavilions with elaborate concepts. It’s a challenge to stand out with each pavilion trumping the next. Artists create that lasting impression with extra sensory experiences to make sure they connect with you. First, an eye popping visual show piece; then a film project for emotion, and finally a hands on element to get you involved. This menu has become de rigueur at national art shows, but most artists’ work stimulates only 3 of the 5 senses; sight, sound, and touch. Taste and smell get left to The Food Network. But at this year’s Biennale, my two neglected senses got a rare whiff of attention.

Inside the bunker like pavilion of Latin America, Bolivian artist Sonia Falcone’s exhibit “Fields of Color” is a large spice rack containing dozens of delicately sculpted foot high cones of exotic spices seated atop flat clay terrines. One gust of wind and the entire installation blows away. I held my breath, but not my nose. The beauty of it alone was a lush artistic visual, but oh, the scent... The aroma of smoky cumin, pleasant nutmeg and sweet cinnamon gave me a warm feeling of that early morning market magic before the selling begins.

If a smell can change your mood, it can certainly transport you to another era. By using spices as art, Falcone gave a nod to a time when Venice was the hub of the spice trade, when the spices which lay before me would be more valuable than diamonds. Imagine paying your rent in black pepper. But the addition of smell gave it a deeper dimension. I could smell the history as the fragrance hasn’t changed in eight hundred years. The richness of curry powder and paprika, the crushed cardamom, cilantro and black pepper represented the colors and tastes of the people of the world. It seemed fitting that I was at this international show looking at this artistic spice rack with people from Asia to the Middle East, South America to Africa, all sniffing a shared aroma in our own language. It was as if were at a dinner table, seated together, having been served a fine meal. Now that is memorable.

by Kelly Stevens, Chief Biennial Project Art Correspondent

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An Art Show with Balls – 55th Venice Biennale

by the-biennial-project 20. September 2013 12:32

(Editors note: Not everyone can afford to send a correspondent to the Venice Biennale Opening Week, the biggest and trendiest art event in the world – sort of the Olympics of the art world. But because we truly care about keeping you informed – we sent not just one, but an entire troupe of reporters – all wildly talented writers and artists who rented an enormous villa smack dab in the middle of Venice the better to report on all the action. Over the coming weeks, we will share with you their tales of champagne-soaked art and mayhem. Let the games begin:

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An Art Show with Balls – 55th Venice Biennale

by Kelly Stevens, Chief Biennial Project Art Correspondent

Art shows are a staple of local community. Museums, galleries, bars and restaurants all have art openings. But nothing compares to the grandeur and scale of an International Biennale – art’s best of the best. The 55th Venice Biennale opened this week in Italy – not California, gang. Countries compete to win the coveted “Golden Lion Award” choosing artwork to represent their country in massive pavilions. It is the World’s Fair of art and you had better go big or go home.

Historically, the art installations at the Biennale are oversized, but this year’s theme, the “Encyclopedic Palace” lends itself to smaller, more detailed works. The theme is about our desire to see and know everything. It’s a real thinking man’s show. Philosophers and inventors from DaVinci to Jung inspired many of the works. I put my reading glasses to good use and settled in to what was certain to be an art experience of a lifetime. I could feel myself getting smarter by the minute. I like to think of myself as an academic, but the truth remains this southern girl is no librarian. I might be found heading to the local biker bar if given the chance. So while the media poured and gushed over the illustrations, scientific drawings, and alphabetic works, I found myself searching for something bigger to rest my weary eyes upon. And then I saw them…..

A real feast for the eyes lay before me. A large set of concrete, ahem… meatballs dangled in front of me as I rounded the corner. UK artist and former teacher, Phyllinda Barlow constructed a rather large scale grouping of balls entitled “Untitled: Hanginglumpcoalblack” which resembles a set of male testicles (at least from pictures I’ve seen in medical books). They literally hung by thick strands of black chains from a 25 foot ceiling, nearly blocking the doorway. Carefully crafted of construction debris, including sand, wire netting, expanding foam, fabric and plaster, Barlow has made a name for herself giving cast off construction material a new life.

As I stared, I realized that in that brief moment, I was nothing more than a naughty school girl posing as an art professional. Big or small, art has a way of transforming us and making us feel emotions we may not have been aware of, and suddenly I had a craving for Spaghetti.

by Kelly Stevens, Chief Biennial Project Art Correspondent

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Grand Prize Winner of The 2013 ArtVenice Biennale!

by the-biennial-project 8. September 2013 15:06

As our Multitude of Adoring Fans already know, the 2013 ArtVenice Biennale attracted more than 800 entries from all around the world.

The quality of the work was stunning.

Viewing all the amazing work being done out there made our hearts happy to be members of this global Tribe Called Artists.

Choosing from so much great work was a challenge – but it had to be done.

Even harder was choosing a winner amongst so many talented souls – so we kind of wimped out.

We chose two!

Both of the Grand Prize Winners are extremely talented, dedicated to their calling, and doing work that only they could do.

We are excited to share their work with you.

Today we would like to introduce you to  the first of our two Grand Prize Winners - Clint Imboden, a California-based multimedia artist with a diverse catalogue of compelling work.

As good red-blooded Americans, we were first seduced by his gorgeous series of resin-based pieces titled Colors of War. Luscious, candy-colored, lethal. Perfection.

Can we get fries with that?

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This series proved to be just the beginning of Clint’s strong and provocative body of work. Feast your eyes on these images from a sampling of his extensive installation history:

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And his individual sculptural pieces are just delightfully demented:

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Pretty cool, huh? Here’s Clint’s artist statement:

I come to making art with the perspective of a therapist. Just as a good therapist can act as a catalyst for change in a client, good art should elicit a strong reaction in the audience, provoking them to explore the reasons why they've been affected.

I usually find my materials at local flea markets. I start with the artifacts of daily living, things that most people discard or overlook: battered globes, worn shoes, dilapidated tools.  I’m drawn to old materials because they foster purposeful imperfection in my art, an attribute that’s connected to their previous lives. I use them for their connotative, associative or narrative possibilities. My installation work is tactile and handmade; as an artist, I focus on process and on topical, issue-based content.

Viewing my artwork is not meant to be a passive experience; it involves reading, deciphering, taking the initiative to engage physically and psychically with text and objects.  I use materials that challenge my audience to consider multiple references in order to understand the full meaning of a piece. I want people to be caught up in the experience of my work, just as I am, in making it. My goal is to have them come away from an encounter with the work knowing something new about themselves.

 See more of his work in our web gallery devoted to him and him alone:

http://the-biennial-project.com/2013artVeniceWinner.aspx

For even more, check out Clint’s website:

clintimboden.com

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Checking in on The 18th Sydney Biennial

by the-biennial-project 29. August 2012 20:51

 

Just as there are Biennales all over the globe, The Biennial Project has collaborators across the oceans. One of our ‘mates’ is Marlene Sarroff who resides in Australia . Marlene is one of those special artists who just does it. She proved this to us at last year’s Venice Biennale by coming to stay with us, The Biennial Project, without having ever met us in person. She co-habituated with us only knowing our reputation (which might keep the shyer artist away) and instantly became part of The Biennial Project.

Not only did she take the opportunity to witness the best art in the world, get rowdy at the most fabulous parties and brighten up our Villa, Marlene had the good fortune to watch a top international prositute make ‘a date’ on skype right in the middle of the lobby of The Hotel Danelli.

If you think you can handle us, stimulating art, fashionable parties and world class hookers keep reading our blog and our facebook page to see how you can join us and elevate your hip factor by coming to The opening week of The 55th Venice Biennale this June.

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Anyhow seeing how important and far-reaching our blog is Marlene wanted to share with you a little of The 18th Sydney Biennial (which also happens to be her hometown). In this article Marlene educates you on Maria Fernanda Cardoso and Ross Rudesch Harley’s MUSEUM OF COPULATORY ORGANS (MoCo) 2012

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THE MUSEUM OF COPULATORY ORGANS (MoCo) 2012

by Marlene Sarroff

Cockatoo Island is one of four sites chosen for the 18th Biennale of
Sydney
. A small island in Sydney Harbor, steeped in early history, with

large cavernous spaced buildings originally built for shipbuilding and coupled
with remnants of convict history and an undulating topography makes for
intriguing spacial opportunities for artists.

The shipyards former workshops are a perfect museum-like setting to present Maria Fernando Cardosa’s Museum of Copulatory Organs, (MoCo), a selection of scientific models (3D and 2D) and photographs of insect genitalia, together with a film,
Stick Insects most intimate moments.

Originally from Colombia, now living and working in Sydney, she is inspired
by the animal and natural world. She is best known for her flea circus,
whose smallest show on earth became a hit more than a decade ago, when she
discovered the curious yet beautiful plant-like forms in insect genitalia,
which then lead to a PhD at Sydney University on the study of insect
genitalia
- The Aesthetics of Reproductive Morphology.

Whilst  Cardosa¹s work is placed within the context of art, much of her practice demonstrates a link between the disciplines of art and science. It raises the question of what makes this art and not science? It is perhaps largely a matter of framing the work in the context of such an exhibition.

Evolution has made this collection of dazzling shapes and reproductive devices, however, it takes the artist to make it become visible.


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Along with collaborator Ross Rudesch Harley, Cardosa has created an
orthodox natural history museum encompassing her entire collection of
objects -featuring scientific sculptures modeled from glass, metal and
waxy 3D printed resin. MoCo’s extraordinary pieces are created using
scanning electron microscope imaging to magnify and photograph the tiny
appendages
.

These black and white photos, which are a part of the exhibition
are then transformed into large resin and glass sculptures. Cardoso and
Harley understand the humorous aspect to their work. The exhibitions title
references the male obsession with penis size and is intentionally
provocative, playful and ultimately true in relation to insects. 

They invite the viewer to consider the beauty of these sculptural forms, rendered
with scientific precision as they exist in nature.  The collection of the
insect genitalia, featuring reproductive tracts and penises is wide ranging
from the beautifully modeled insect and snail spermatozoa, sex organs of the
female fruit fly, to the penis of the daddy-long-legs. The viewer would not
be mistaken in thinking that a lot of animal species are promiscuous,
especially insects and some species which often compete with each other - their
penises including hooks to remove sperm from previous matings.

Video work and 3D prototypes displayed on small LCD displays are part of new media artist Harley’s contribution.

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The vast collection has been accumulating over several years of study. It is
not hard to understand the artist¹s fascination with the subject: a close
examination of these miniscule organs reveals an endless morphological
variety  - all serving a function, including ensuring successful attachment.

The installation gives us insights into worlds known only to scientists and our
perception is compounded by the unbelievable, yet exotic display of nature
as we have never seen it before. ‘It is a celebration of the diversity of
life’ Cardosa says.

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Artist StatementMaria Fernanda Cardoso

Genitalia are confined to the last two segments of the abdomen, and flea
copulation has been hailed as one of the wonders of the insect world. The
male, normally much smaller than his mate, slides beneath her from behind,
embraces her back-to-belly with his antennae and softly caresses her
genitalia. Then his tail curls up like a scorpion¹s and he penetrates her
with what Brendan Lehane calls the most elaborate genital armature yet
known. The male, he writes, possesses two penis rods, curled together like
embracing snakes. Inside his body, the smaller rod moves outwards lambently,
catching delicate skeins of sperm and moving it into a groove on the larger
longer rod. Then the whole phallic coil slides out from this sensitive rear,
the large rod enters the female and guides the thinner along beside it. The
thin rod continues inwards, eventually depositing its sperm and withdrawing.
Any engineer looking objectively at such a fantastically impractical
apparatus would bet heavily against its operational success writes
entomologist Miriam Rothschild, the astonishing fact is that it works.    

                                                                                                                                               

There you go - everything you always wanted to know about insect copulation!

XXOO, The Biennial Project


  

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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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