The Biennial Project Running of the Butts at the 2011 Venice Biennale

by the-biennial-project 29. September 2011 08:50

Think that nothing that The Biennial Project will do to get attention will shock you? 

The Biennial Project Running of the Butts at the 2011 Venice Biennale

The Biennial Project Running of the Butts at the 2011 Venice Biennale

    Think again.


Adult Content | Venice Biennale Campaigns


by the-biennial-project 7. September 2011 08:52
We Came…We Saw…WE PARTIED OUR ASSES OFF!!!!]]> The Biennial Project V.I.P. Opening Reception for the 54th Venice Biennale and Awards Presentation for the 2011 Boston Online Biennial is a smashing success!!

It all began, innocently and calmly enough, on a peaceful Sunday evening in the lovely hidden garden of a beautiful pallazo….

first garden

But the quiet would not last for long…….

eric steamersgarden w steamers

And before you knew it, the fabulous V.I.P. glitterati-filled gala was in full swing!!!!

anna streamers #5 people annalaura       

Old Friends were re-aquainted….


                                                                                                                                                                               New Alliances were formed….

                                                                                                                                           charlene and friend

And, yes, even recipes were exchanged!!


Perhaps the highlight of the evening was when The Biennial Project announced


with much fanfare--to the anticipatory masses that were gathered…

                                                                                                             bob audience

The Winners of the 2011 Inaugural Boson Online Biennial

—including the First Place Winner, Hans van Meeuwen!!!


In fact…..we would say that all in all it was a Good Timin’, Wine Guzzling (44 liters to be exact!), Hob-Nobbing, Uber-Networking, Seen-And-Be-Seen-Old-Fashioned-Throw-Down-Of-Party-Until-The-Clothes-Came-Off (more on that in our NEXT blog post!!!) Extravagana---the likes of which has not been seen since the days of yore when the founding mothers and fathers of Venice first dug out the canals and threw up the grandest palazzos!   There were Tate-showin’ artists and critics, collectors, and curators galore all engrossed in scintillating debates over the hottest theoretical art issues of the day!                                 

tom tate   claudio scintillating conver

Hell…we didn’t know the half of what was going on by the end of the evening….



we do know of one very special little hi-jinx….

and you’ll have to tune in next time to find out!!!


Art and Capitalism in Venice

by the-biennial-project 10. August 2011 16:59



Here is a great shot of Laura Rollins from The Biennial Project participating in a sublime guerilla performance art piece on the famed Academia Bridge in Venice during the recent opening week of the Venice Biennale 2011.

The other artist in the piece made replicas of Louis Vuitton purses as a statement on the vapid materialism and low self esteem of The International Tourist – those who spend way too much money on a simple bag decorated with this universally recognized status symbol of great disposable wealth.

You see if you look rich by flaunting your materialism, then you look better then the poor and therefore are treated with better respect. The symbol is meant to say to everyone who is not carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag that it’s owner is better then you, the non-owner, because the owner has more accumulated wealth then the non-owner, you.

The irony of this slyly subversive performance piece is that this bag IS a replica – a ‘knock-off’ - with the joke being that Laura (playing the role of The International Tourist to perfection) bought it for 15 Euros.


Laura is able to continue this artistic collaboration by gauging the reaction of the unknowing public. The pedestrians of the globe will look at this ‘art piece’ and make judgments on Laura, which are incorrect since they do not know that this is not an actual expensive Luis Vuitton bag.

The artistic statement is carried even further by the fact that the Western population knows that it is easy to get a knockoff Louis Vuitton Bag, sullying the shine of the actual real purse owning rich people – those who want to set themselves apart from the have-nots by this materialistic status symbol.

People will assume these people with ‘real’ extravagant means are simply putting on a show and will be questioned as being middle or lower class. The real middle and lower class people carrying the knock offs will go about their day thinking that others think they are more special, hence wealthy. In fact they are revealing their true position in the class structure, because we all know that people can and do buy fake Louis Vuitton pocketbooks.

You see the point that Laura and this ingenious Authentic Venetian Artist are trying to get across is that a knockoff Louis Vuitton purse is really the great equalizer in our modern capitalist society. The middle and lower class, by striving to appear ‘better then’, have brought the people who ‘are better then’ because of greater wealth, down to an equal surface level.


In doing this we can no longer judge people hiding behind their self created exterior status oriented presentation - and we are now able to look deep into their  souls full of insecurities and self doubt (which we all share, no matter what side of the tracks we were brought up on or ascended to).

This is not unlike Mao’s China where the citizens all wore identical uniforms. It made them all appear equal and they were better able to concentrate on more important aspects of life instead of the superficial.  The other parallel between the capitalist symbol of a Louis Vuitton handbag and the Communist China Uniform is that both are compromised designs.

In reality there is no individuality or creativity in either the uniform or the handbag. They are both simple and boring designs that are made to be demographically pleasing to a wide audience. All discerning aspects of design have been marginalized as to not offend or set anything or anyone apart. They both are made so the owner can fit into society by not standing out by their creative souls - but stand only thru the society in which they belong.


Another irony that Laura and this great, yet-to-be famous Authentic Venetian Artist are demonstrating by presenting this particular collaboration is that they are doing at The Venice Biennale during it’s opening week. This is a week where the most creative members of societies around the world are chosen to represent and converge together to for a week of individual expression.

The idea of a Louis Vuitton bag is the most uncreative artistic expression of self one can make. Here Laura and the splendid Authentic Venetian Artist have taken this  uncreative symbol of mass dulling of artistic or individual expression and made it a symbol that can take on new life as a tool to fool the population who don’t “get the joke”- i.e. The International Tourist and other boring people.

All of which proves once again that art provides a rich arena in which to examine the underlying dynamics of our society by re-contextualizing everyday events so as to reveal the truth lurking below, and that the members of The Biennial Project are the right people for the job.

Ciao baby!



by the-biennial-project 11. July 2011 17:53



I’m in Venice – at last – and, with its subtle mists and roaring crowds, it does not disappoint. I have seen my first ineffable sunset and have had the various parts of my anatomy shoved by an indifferent attendant into an impossibly packed vaporetto. So I’m in Venice and pretty indiscriminately happy, wandering around the ‘back-behind’ of mobbed St. Mark’s Square, escaping from the sun and heat and screaming masses of people, who, as Henry James observed a century ago, should immediately leave and let me properly enjoy all this alone, when I happen on the big red “Biennale” pennant outside an old building, church, whatever, and enter, mostly just to get a rest.

The place is dim, quiet, cool, and a bit of a ruin, stripped to its architectural bones, former function unrecognizable.  I climb the stairs to the loft and settle into a room-sized beanbag, and all I want or expect is about 15 minutes of peace.  Luckily not to be had.

As I become accustomed to the light, I see around me people transfixed by a large screen cycling into a new showing of Singapore’s ‘The Cloud of Unknowing,’ which turns out to be the trippiest experience one could possibly have without aid of hallucinogen or other radical brain alteration.  And no one already present is leaving.

The video cycles through six apartments in a low-rent neglected urban high-rise, showing its largish occupants, 4 men, one woman, and some vegetation, at various mostly ordinary occupations leading up to – what is this? — their envelopment by cloud emanating from various parts of their apartments, from the bookcases, appliances, furnishings.

It’s a wonderful set of contrasts between the ‘nothingness’ of the cloud and the persistent bulkiness of the humans (and possibly the plants as well), the mundanity of their quotidian existences and the magical things that happen to them as they’re being engulfed, the silence of the solitary, monastic modern high rise cells otherwise known as apartments, and the joyous uproar of a drummer exuberantly banging things from a zone somewhere between monastic gongs and pure rock and roll.

As the cloud descends, dreaming man is sucked into white-sheeted bed, drummer is subsumed by torrential rains, and moss-filled apartment just plain luxuriates … I think.

What’s it all about?  I’m not sure it’s really necessary to know this but the title of the video refers to a 14th century mystical Christian tract of the same name, and references a whole lot of Renaissance and later cloud imagery, and, now, the amorphousness of the digital universe, adroitly intertwining the twin threads of baroque and minimal that have so dominated contemporary art for the past several years.

Giving away the end – since it’s not likely to be in the local multiplex any time soon – as the screen fills with luminous cloud turning to pure light, the dark-ribbed old wooden loft begins also to fill with all-obscuring cloud.

Spectacle, you say?  You bet.  And I’d see it again.  And, what’s more, it’s stayed with me and resonated this past month as no blockbuster movie has ever been able to do.

One other point, about going to Venice.  Getting there cost an obscene amount of money and was a hard thing to decide to do in these times.  For anyone who still contemplates the purchase of, say, that big screen TV or latest i-thing, using the logic that these things are tangible and lasting whereas some vacation will be over in a matter of weeks,

my advice is to go for the real lasting thing, the trip.

True, I saw some really bad art, ate some mediocre food, was roasted, stomped on, and drenched by torrential rains, but this show alone (and it wasn’t alone in its wondrousness, ref. Swiss, German, Polish, and British Pavilions) was worth the price of admission. When the electronic objects are nothing but additions to the recycle bin, I’ll still have the Biennale and the aging Disney marvel that is Venice.


Report-backs and Reviews | Venice Biennale Campaigns

We’ll Always Have Venice!!!!!!

by the-biennial-project 5. July 2011 17:12


“Up on Housing Project Hill, it’s either fortune or fame. You must choose one or the other, although neither of them are to be what they claim.” 




That’s our friend Bob Dylan talking, and we figure he should know.

We, of course, want both. We haven’t noticed much movement lately in the fortune thing, but boy has the fame thing been coming along.

And by fame, we mean The Venice Biennale 2011, in all it’s sparkling glory, with US as Participants!  We have so much to tell you!

First, we are aware that in addition to the Legions of Fabulous Fans who appreciate our sublime parody of artistic pretension, there exist also a Few Dreary Naysayers - those who feel that The Biennial Project is perhaps, well, too focused on US.

We know, that’s just ridiculous, but you know how petty and jealous people can be when their own careers are in the toilets while ours are really taking off.

So, to prove these Few Dreary Naysayers to be the bitter farts that they are, we and our conspirators have have written reviews of some of our favorite art at the VB2011, without even mentioning ourselves!

And had these reviews published in Boston’s Coolest and Hippest Cultural Weekly – The Dig!!!

No way, you say? Yes way, we answer! 

Read our fabulous reviews below!




American Pavilion



Chinese Pavilion




Singapore Pavilion



Egyptian, Polish & German Pavilions



All Our Coverage in the Hip and Cool Dig!










And, of course, us being us, in between looking at and reviewing the other art, we did find a little time to show the art world some of our Unique Edgy Avant-Garde Conceptual Performance Art, and you just know that they loved it!

In the weeks to come we’ll fill you in on everything, but here’s just a taste of how the Art World Press took notice (pay special attention to seconds 26-28!):








Art World Press Raves for The Biennial Project!






Bizarre Art Happenings Indeed!



Stay tuned for more!!!!




The Biennial Project



Report-backs and Reviews | Venice Biennale Campaigns

Début of The Biennial Project Perfume “Star of Venice” gets Rave Reviews

by the-biennial-project 14. June 2011 17:10


by Samantha Marder, Director of The Perfume Project

  This week the Boston-based perennial favorites The Biennial Project gleefully distributed black and yellow be-ribboned vials of their intoxicating new personal fragrance Star of Venice  to art aficionados in the Giardini venue of the Venice Biennale 2011.

veniceperfume1 veniceperfume2

  The introduction of this signature fragrance served as a crowning grace note to the project’s continued participation in all things Biennale. The Biennial Team received warm response and delighted surprise to the gesture.


  Certainly the soft scent of Star of Venice now wafts along the canals and down the narrow alleys of the city!



  The 14-Member Performance Art/Activist Troupe exhibited several new perfomative art pieces during the Biennale’s opening days, and took turns interviewing artists and hosting glittering social events throughout the week.


  Biennial Project literature was distributed at art pulse points all around town.


  Intrigue has been seeded and inquiries have already flooded in!

veniceirsihpavilion venicereicfuckme veniceboandlaura 


The sweet scent of Biennial Project success now permeates the historic glory of this eternal city!



Biennial Project VIP Venice Biennale Reception

by the-biennial-project 28. April 2011 16:48

That may look to you like some spray cans in a window, but no, it is a


- Marcia E. Ventrocq, in an article about The Venice Biennale 2001


Love fills the moment and the moment begins eternity…..

veniceoldorgy1 veniceorrgy2

Love fills a lifetime and a lifetime begins this hour……..

venicehomo veniceles


It is with Great Enthusiasm that

Eric Hess,

Laura Rollins and

Anna Salmeron,

founding members of the eminent artist collaborative The Biennial Project cordially request the pleasure of your attendance at

The Biennial Project’s V.I.P.

Opening Reception for  

The 54th Venice Biennale

and award presentation celebrating the winner of 

THE 2011 Boston Online Biennial.

Be amongst the first to discover who will be auspicious victor of this exalted contest, and preview this artist’s work in a modern digital art exhibition. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres  and good grub in the open air of our sizable courtyard and veranda, and tour the considerable, multi-part inner recesses of La Villa de Biennial Project. The festivities will  feature musical entertainment by our karaoke machine and Eric’s Ipod.

 Ninfea-4-venice-italyCalla-1-venice-italy    Giardino Segreto-1 Giardino Segretocloseupfresia-1-venice-italy


The celebration will

commence on

Sunday the Fifth of June

Of the Year of Our Lord

A.D. Two Thousand and Eleven

At the hour of

Six o’clock in the evening.



Location - La Villa Biennial Project

(Formally known as The Villa Giardino Segreto)venicebackground

Is situated at

Calle degli Ormesini

Sestiere di Cannaregio 1484 A

Venezia, Italia



Our Joy will be more complete

if you share with us the

astonishing merriment of our gala!


Vaporetto stop: S. Marcuola - line 1
Alilaguna stop: Guglie - line A (Orange)

 Biennial Project villa outmap-2

La Villa Biennial Project


Fan of the Month Stephan Adelson

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!!




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 (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.

stephan 1stehan4stephan6stephan2

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.


Report from Berlin – Sigmar Polke

by the-biennial-project 1. April 2011 16:23

Polke, the São Paulo Biennial, and Berlin

by N. Ami


[N. Ami is an American journalist living in Berlin, and a big fan of the Biennial Project.]


An Homage to Sigmar Polke:

Taking Stock of a Friendship Between Artists

Exhibition at the Academy of Arts,

Pariser Platz, Berlin, January – March, 2011.



                                            Sigmar Polke, 1995
                                            Photograph, 8 x 12 inches
                                            Photo by Klaus Staeck
                                            (c) VG Bild-Kunst

by N. Ami

A Remarkable Friendship

For over 40 years, Sigmar Polke and Klaus Staeck were artist pals. Staeck became an art collector, publisher, and gallery owner, and is now President of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Polke (pronounced “polka”), one of the most influential contemporary artists in Germany, died in June 2010 of cancer at age 69.

Staeck organized this very personal exhibition as a tribute to his friend. Of the more than 90 works by Polke in the show, as well as numerous catalogs and photos of Polke, most are from the private collection of Staeck. I was moved by this show, the record of a remarkable friendship.

Great Exhibition Space

The Academy of Arts is located in prime space and is easy to find. It is a few steps away from the Brandenburg Gate, one of the best known landmarks in Berlin. A renowned cultural center, the Academy’s architecture differs starkly from its massive historic neighbors by its shear glass façade. It has 5 large exhibition rooms, and also houses a fine independent bookstore and spiffy café.

Those 5 rooms give the viewer ample space to see the prolific range of Polke’s experiments in painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Dominant are collage and montage done with offset lithos, serigraphs, and copy-machines. Some of these works are huge, as much as 7ft x 10ft. Overall, these big ones are bright and fanciful. His most usual tools were a camera, a photocopier, and his great wit.


                          Sigmar Polke: The Cash Is Laughing, 2002
                          Offset Litho/ Serigraph on Cardboard
                          28 x 20 inches
                          Edition Staeck
                          (c) VG Bild-Kunst


Yes, he had work in the XIII Biennial in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1975! A series of those works are included in this show. They were collaborations with the artists Achim Duchow, Astrid Heibach, and Katharina Steffen for the artists’ newspaper called “Day by Day… They Take Some Brain Away.”

These satirical works are, according to the exhibition notes, “a wild mixture of sex, revolution, and sensation as presented in the contemporary politics and men’s fantasies, as seen through the eyes of the bourgeois press.” The pieces are two-sided, printed offset on newsprint. They are indeed wild, with montages from Hollywood film posters, magazine ads, comic books, and political commentary.

The series for the Biennial was done at a time when young German artists watched a new country rise from its fascist ashes. The artists had a healthy anarchistic skepticism, and could observe the new post-war influence of the West with great irony.

For example, in Polke’s 1974 documentary photo series of beggars in New York City and beggars in Cologne, Germany, the two groups appear identical.

Polke and Gerhard Richter had already named their new art movement “Capitalist Realism” in the 1960s.

My Favorites

Most striking are Polke’s very early prints with “raster” grids – now (since computers) known as bitmaps – where he would take a small section of dots on a grid (say, from a conventional newspaper photo or comic book) and enlarge the dot-pattern to a gigantic scale. Then he would playfully work into that abstraction further with drawing and other printmaking.

He learned to “scale-up” this raster beyond recognition and then to create a whole new imagery within it. Technically, he was worlds ahead of other innovators in this area. Best of all, he took his work seriously, but never forgot how to play.

Consider his 1969 sculpture, “A Device With Which One Potato Can Circle Around Another Potato,” about 30 inches high, with two potatoes, wood, rotating metal arms and screws, and a loudly grinding motor. The potatoes can be replaced with newer ones, as needed. The viewer personally turns the electric switch on and off, setting the thing in motion.

My favorite works were a whole wall full of one-page faxes, sent between Polke and Staeck – over a hundred of them between 1995 and 2008. These were little goofy messages and sketches sent by fax, mostly about the two artists arranging meeting times with each other.

These little messages were so lively and real. It made me wish that the two guys could still send each other silly faxes and set more meeting times together.

And it made me wonder why the artists I know don’t send each other homemade things that can be tacked on the wall and saved. I mean, emails are better than nothing, but art is art.

So send your pals something goofy today!! There’s real power in it. And remember that some people die too soon, and then sadly those pals are gone.


            Sigmar Polke [eating an egg] with a detail of "Unwelcome Gifts," 2003
            Photograph, 8 x 12 inches
            Photo by Klaus Staeck
            Edition Staeck
            (c) VG Bild-Kunst


Report-backs and Reviews

The Biennial Project Report Back on the Amory Show

by the-biennial-project 16. March 2011 20:53



    amoryoverview    globes    opening1

As a follower of The Exploits of The Biennial Project, you undoubtedly know that attendance at the Armory Shows in New York (held annually during the first week of March) is an important Rite of Spring for Members of the World Church of All Things Art. Everyone who’s anyone one is there - no matter that the week is also a major event in the calendar of the Church of All Things Money, and that not even the most deeply observant art lover would be capable of absorbing this much art in such a short time. Like all spiritual pilgrimages, the important thing is to try. So trying we were, all week, all around town. Here is our report on Day One of this Important Event -


OK, we probably stayed our a little too late with our entourage the night before, but still managed to be looking our best when we showed up early to pound the flesh and distribute our materials to the caterers and support people who were there as bright and early as we were.


   Then they decided to let us in, and the magic really started. They ushered us into the VIP Lounge to wait until the show officially opened, apparently thinking that we would be less likely to bother people there. Wrong! We chatted up Our Fellow VIP’S and made several new friends. THIS is OUR audience – people with Avant Guard Art Sensibilities able to understand a nuanced parody of art-world  hypocrisy, and pockets deep enough to pay for it. Amazingly, we were not thrown out.


At this point, the clock was striking on the hour of the actual opening, so we quickly joined forces with a Multi-Person Site-Specific Collective forming in the lobby to obtain entry tickets at the half price group rate (in so doing making a valuable statement on the mercantile nature of today’s art institutions and the value of collaboration in the face of nameless yet brutal economic forces.) Here’s a shout out to our new friends - making friends, for the world to see, let the people know, you got what you need!


Flush with our recent triumphs, we got down to the serious business of seeing and reflecting upon the vast amounts of Top-Flight International Art on site.




  And, as often happens, looking at all that art by other people got boring after awhile, so we decided instead to create……….


and create more…..



Excitingly, Our Efforts did not go unnoticed!  We scored a Private Photo Shoot with the Art in America staff (seriously!) -



Oh Armory Show, how do we love Thee, let us count the ways………….



Other Campaigns and High-jinks | Report-backs and Reviews

Powered by BlogEngine.NET
Theme by Mads Kristensen