The excitement in Boston over the New Biennial Project Show is palpable. No really, we’ve gotten great reviews. Real reviews, in actual publications, not written by ourselves. Both The Weekly Dig and The Phoenix love us!
Here is the text of The Weekly Dig Review -
They are the world, they are the children
By J. PATRICK BROWN
Once every two years, the art world gathers together to conspire against its uncool older brother, the real world, with a self-congratulatory shindig showcasing works by the In-Right-Now-crowd, who wear the blackest all-black outfits and smoke the foulest cloves. Artists. As seen on TV.
This event is known as a Biennale. It is the bizarre marriage of a coming-out party and a wrestling match, with the militantly goateed crawling over each other for a coveted, career-making, who-needs-law-school-now-Dad spot among local art darlings. The original and most prestigious Biennale has been held in Vienna since 1895, and remains the ultima parola in brut-sipping nod-fests.
Just as the wrestling event Royal Rumble spawned the World Championship Wrestling knock-off World War 3, Vienna's biennial has inspired imitators of varying degrees of paleness all over the globe. In fact, over the last 20 years, they've multiplied rapidly, jumping from a mere 17 in 1980s to over 60 currently active. So when Bumfucksville decided it could not deny the world a forum for its myriad contributions to the world's rich creative tapestry, out would come a fresh crop of turtle-necked wunderkind chuckling softly at your opinions while munching on soda crackers. Clearly, something had to be done.
Fortunately, a group of Bostonians knew exactly what these exercises in the excruciating were missing: them.
And a new exhibit at the Atlantic Works Gallery documents the misadventures of four Boston artists who hit up five biennials in three different countries, gatecrashing snoot-fests over the globe, rallying behind the entirely reasonable question: "Why not us?"
"We're the quintessential outsiders who want to be insiders," explains Laura Rollins, the quartet's ringleader. "Everyone who is making art wants to be famous. As it concerns visual art, we're interested in how people get into these exhibits. I mean, are there secrets? Are there strategies? Why can't we be one of those people?"
To that end, Rollins and friends decided to join the festivities, come hell or high water(color). They showed up unannounced, creating a public spectacle, dressing in outlandish garb—in other words, acting like those artists everyone keeps hearing about.
"We get a panoply of responses. Some people are appalled, some people think it's the funniest thing ever, and some people are dying to find the same answers [we were looking for]."
The group lovingly crafted goodie-bags for the curators, helpfully handed out bio-hazard flyers to passers-by, and in Vienna, they even hosted an unofficial closing ceremony.
"It's not like [the Biennale Organization] actually approved us having the ceremony," says Rollins. "We just did it—we ripped off their logo and their font from their press material, and printed up some invitations ... the theme [for the Biennale] was 'Making Worlds' ... so we got a karaoke machine set up outside the main gate and played songs with 'world' as their theme. 'We Are the World' was the easiest one, everyone knew that."
This Thursday's opening reception documents the group's collision course with fame, and despite a few bruises and the odd bloody fingernail from clawing their way to the top, one thing comes through quite clear:
"We had fun," Rollins says with a smile, "in spades. We had a very good time, no doubt."
Yes, yes, we know they confused Vienna and Venice, but otherwise they got it right, wouldn’t you say? We told you this thing had legs. And to think you could have bought Biennial Project Stock right at the beginning. So jump on board now so you won’t be kicking yourself in a year or two.
Of course,The Opening Itself was also amazing, with a gaggle of Cool and Hip Arty Types in attendance for the festivities.
We were our usual charming selves!
And, as always, endeavored to deflect attention from ourselves
to our Important Work.
And because we know that seeing our work and hanging out with us are important to you, we are inviting you and yours to an Exclusive Second Reception for Greetings from Biennialandto be held this coming Thursday, August 19th, from 6-9pm, at the Atlantic Works Gallery (atlanticworks.org for more info). See you there, and in the meantime, remember, Be Bold, Be Dazzling, Be Fabulous!
P.S. Thanks to cool Biennial Project friends Paul Weiner, Mitchel Ahern, and Mark Hoffman for event pics!