Fan of the Month Stephan Adelson

by the-biennial-project 20. April 2011 16:31

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We have fans and then we have FANS!!! All of our fans are the greatest. Truly you are. But sometimes a fan or two go beyond the distance. This month we would like to highlight Stephan Adelson !!! Stephan took a trip in November to the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan. Stephan traveled to Kazakhstan, which is also the world’s largest landlocked country with its territory is being 2,727,300 km² - which is far greater than Western Europe, simply to spread the very important message of The Biennial Project.

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First on Stephan’s agenda was to meet up with a Biennial Project VIP. Since the 2009 Venice Biennale, The Biennial Project had been nurturing a wonderful new friendship with Oksana Shatalova - one of the artists who represented Kazakhstan that year. Oksana is a Biennale superstar (she was in Central Asia Pavilion of 52nd Venice Biennale / 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art / 1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece). Months ago 'O' was just about to trust our relationship enough to reveal how she really got into The Venice Biennale. Then, bamm, we heard nothing from her. We were afraid we might have intimidated her when she discovered that we were peanut butter eating, germ doubting, America’s Next Top Model watching, Texan puppeteers who never partook in cheerleading or beauty pageants. Well, Stephan was good enough to share some Besarmak (a Kazakh dish consisting of boiled horse or mutton meat) and reassure ‘O’ that The Biennial Project are reasonable people even if we do at times come off as loud Americans.

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After mending fences for us with Okasana, Stephan then took the time out to give Kazakhstan’s 2011 Venice representatives Said ATABEKOV, Galim MADANOV and Zauresh TEREKBAY advise on how to deal with the theme of Lingua Franca. Stephan explained to our Kazakhstan friends that the origin of the term lingua franca is connected to a mixed language, which appeared in the Middle Ages, thanks to trading contacts between Europe and Asia. Stephen further enlightened the Kazakh artistes that today the term highlights languages of inter-ethnic communication (for example, English), or – in the broader aspects of semiotics – any sign system serving intercultural communication. It was a long cold night in Almaty, (the capital city and also the second coldest city in the world) but now Galim, Zauresh and Yerbossyn can appear in Venice with confidence that the problem of overcoming Orientalism/Occidentalism dichotomy will be presented elegantly with “metissage”, “anti-huntington” objects and video.

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Hell, Said and Galim were so thankful that they took Stephan to a Bandy (hockey) game, at the high-altitude Medeo Sport Complex followed by the custom of sharing Ayran (cold beverage of yogurt mixed with cold water and sometimes salt) in a lovely café on Zailisky Alatau Mountain overlooking the beaches of Lake Issyk-Kul. They even convinced Stephan to go out after dark, which is not usually possible for foreigners, to dance the night away at techno stronghold Petroleum Club, which is located at Shevchenko 100 on the fifth floor.

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Not only did Stephan impress the art elite (and maybe a fine young man or two) he even did some promoting for us, his friends, The Biennial Project. Mr. Adelson was seen all over town spreading our important message by providing the Almaty people our fun happy yellow stickers!!

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Now you may be wondering who this Biennial Saint Mr. Stephan Adelson is? Well not only is he a great international diplomat for the art world but he has his own schema as well. A native of Winter Park, Florida Stephan moved to Beantown years ago to become a Monk at The Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge MA. After he became enlightened or maybe grew tired of the itchy robe and vow of poverty Stephan went on to school to become a web designer. This skill  lead him to become the general manager of Manhunt, a hook up site for men seeking sex with men. He was part of the team that introduced the idea of displaying one’s HIV status in online personal profiles. This in tern lead him to start Adelson Consulting Services, and in partnership with the Internet and STD Center of Excellence, Stephan and his team developed the social networking website www.STDPreventionOnline.org (STDPO) - designed to connect sexual health professionals and disseminate resources. In other words Stephan is able to now teach public health officials how to reach at risk sexually active gay men through the sex website they frequent.

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All and all we feel a special bond to all our adoring fans but we really hold esteem gratitude for the ones who, well, do shit for us.

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