If there is one thing that stands out more then the art during the Press Week at The Venice Biennale it would have to be all the free shit to be obtained. There are free fabulously catered parties, with DJs and bands. There is a myriad of free food and free wine. Its fun to watch the well dressed, sweaty intelligentsia push and shove one another for the complimentary Prosecco in the hot sun. During the 2015 Venice Biennale Press Week we, The Biennial Project, didn’t buy an actual meal from Monday to Friday. The free Steak Tartar at the Aberzajan exhibit stands out in our memory. Lots of the Pavilions give out free books, which we grab, because they are free, but end up leaving most of them behind because its too heavy for our luggage. We even witnessed a fight break out between to civilized looking ‘art patrons’ because one cut the other in line waiting for their gratis Lily sponsored espresso.
But we feel the most practical gift of all is the canvas bags that a lot of the pavilions hand out. Right away these are great because we can start to use them to carry all the other free shit we pick up through out the day. Second, they show the other visitors that you are important. Only the most important art wheeler and dealers, or the really pushy attendees like us, The Biennial Project, are given the privilege of getting a bag. It makes a statement that you have arrived. Norway really made us work hard for our bag. It took us 2 minutes to wear them down to give us one. France, with their moving tree, acted really stinhy, but we prevailed to be more pushy then the French in pursuit of our precious bag. England was selling their electric yellow bags for 10 euros but we managed to snatch one when someone wasn’t looking. Walking around with a bag from a not-well-visited exhibition also makes other very-important-art-VIPs in attendance think you are ‘in-the-know’. You get to give off an impression that you found that one underground, cool, new artist that they are too provincial to hear about. It’s a wonderful feeling making other think they missed out.
Best of all is the millage you can get out of your bags when you leave the Press Week of The Venice Biennale. If you carry you bags around Art Basel, in Berlin, while descending your yacht in the Greek Isles or stuck in customs at Newark Airport, everybody will know you were at the Press Week of The Venice Biennale. They will then know how extremely important you really are. We know for a fact that the girls at Market Basket here in Revere, Massachusetts are quietly in awe of our international-art-superstar bags while they pack up our groceries. When winter sets in a few months later, and you are picking through the cushions of your couch looking for coins to buy cat litter because you can’t stand the stench of feline urine anymore, you can sell these bags on Ebay!!