Biennial Project 2024 Biennial Accepted Artists

Kiley Ames

B Amore

Freedom Baird

David R Banta


Jean-Claude Bise

John Blom

Terry Boutelle

Janice Brandt

Blair Martin Cahill

Maryellen Cahill

Nikyra Capson

Yvonne Cilia

Nick Di Stefano

Susan Dietrich

Gary Duehr

Sigrid Ehemann

Tom Estes

Vincent Frano

Sue Funk


Wally Gilbert

Andrea Gluckman

Bela Gold

Andrae Green

Thomas Halloran

Al Harden

Angela Hickey

Mark Hoffman

Duke Horn

Eric Hubbes

Clint Imboden

Edward Johnston

Anne Johnstone

Cathy Jones

​Marjorie Kaye

Matthew Keller

Vitaly Komar

Todd Larson

Livia Linden


Jeannie Motherwell

Sally Machlis

Samantha Marder

Kristen Martin-Aarnio

shandra mclane

Diane Modica


Basha Ruth Nelson

Dawn Nelson

Yvonne Petkus

Bo Petran

Adriana Prat

Bill Psarras

Barbara Revelle

Ginette Rondeau

Ruth Rosner

Anne Ross

joan ryan

Carmen Sasso

Renate Helene Schweizer

Rhonda Smith

Michael St-Germain

janet stafford

Herwig-Maria Stark

Kelly Steller Hrad

Kelly Steller Hrad

Daniela Todorova

Ed Tomney

Ann Tracy

Kirsi Vahtera

paul valadez

Eric Wallen

Terry Ward

Don Weiner

Paul Weiner

jeanne wilkinson

Carolyn Wirth

Mark Witzling

X Bonnie Woods

Robin Yong

Visiting the 59th Venice Biennale by Clint Imboden

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By now, if you are interested in the 59th Venice Biennale, you probably have read articles from well-known art “experts” at various media outlets. I have my favorites, don’t get me wrong. I have read the same articles and agree with a lot that has been said. But for me personally, this year was so much different than in 2019! I am not talking current world events that naturally weave their narrative into contemporary art. I am talking about having experienced the Biennale once before, I could never look at Venice or the Biennale the same way again. I spent much more of my time looking for and at art, than I did the first time. How could I not get wrapped up being in Venice for the first time? This time, getting lost in Venice was no big deal, I felt very comfortable wandering around. This year, I was able to see the trees instead of just the forest.

We changed the way we sought out and experienced art this time. Last time we saw all the big exhibitions at the national pavilions but stumbled upon our favorite exhibitions by accident. This time we purposely looked for those small venues: small spaces, unknown artists. Our hunts for the unknown failed a couple of times: we looked for an Ai Weiwei piece that it turned out was not going to be installed till July.

The Biennale is officially broken into two parts but there are three in reality. There is the Giardini where all the large counties have permanent pavilions. Then there is the Arsenale which houses the themed exhibitions of the biennial; this year it was “Milk of Dreams”. Also, smaller countries have space there for their national pavilions. The third, unofficial part is the ancillary art that happens in vacant spaces around Venice - popup galleries of all shapes and sizes. They may have a line or two in the program and a sign in front of their space. I am going to focus on three off-the-grid spaces.

My favorite accidental art experience was the Edge’s first-ever aerial drone performance “Social Sacrifice.” It explored the swarming dynamics exhibited by a school of fish encountering a predator, the work highlights the tensions that emerge between collective action and individual freedom, as well as how these change in the presence of external threats (so Julia Kagensky says on their website How could we not go see it? There were 15-20 drones that because of the darkness in this huge old building, you could only hear a swarm of angry hornets over your head, until their individual white light came on. That is when the fun really began. In tune with the sweeping music which was playing, the drones washed from side to side of the building in an amazing feat of technology, with none of them came crashing down. Then a single red light flashed on and the school of drones starts to panic and try to get away from the red light. A completely mesmerizing experience. My words do not do the experience justice. Here’s a video of the experience:

We were guided to my next find by our flat mates. “Where Once the Waters” by David Cass used small discarded tin containers to have a conversation about global warming. On one wall were 365 small discarded tins with a seascape painted on their fronts. The opposite wall was covered with 600 typed letters; each from a witness to sea level rise from all over the world. The conversation between the two opposing walls could not have been louder. (have pictures).

My third and most bizarre art event was a performance put on by the Republic of Kazakhstan, “LAI-PI-CHU-PLEE-LAPA. Centre for the new genius”. If you had read in the catalog or any of the other guides; you would not have expected this. Kazakhstan is in Central Asia and the contents of their pavilion was supposed to travel through Ukraine. Obviously, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the art did not arrive in time to be installed before the press preview. What we walked into looked more like a very bad backdrop for an homemade sci-fi movie. I can not give this group of young artists more praise for what they came up with, nothing but a bare space to start with.


Thousands of miles from home, only using locally sourced materials to recreate their national pavilion in seven days. We walked in through a drapery of aluminum foil covering the door way. Once inside we were given a large sheet of heavy gaged gray paper to use as a cloak and a crumpled-up ball of aluminum taped to the top of my cap. We were then led into the temple of the “New Genius”, also completely made out of aluminum foil held together with a lot of scotch tape. The dozen or so of us sat on the floor facing a woman all dressed in black needlepoint. On either side of her were 2 life size cardboard robots also covered in aluminum foil. Then the performance began. Needless to say, another highlight of the unexpected.

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In a footnote. I love mid-century-modern furniture; Eames, Nelson, etc. On our way to the Kazakhstan pavilion, we stumbled into the most amazing furniture exhibition I have ever seen. On the first three floors of the Ca’ Pisani Design Hotel was an exhibition of furniture designed in Italy 1928-49. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. This was the first time the Freak Andò Antiquariato Modernariato Design had shown this much of its collection publicly. Needless to say, I wanted to take most of the exhibit back home. Unfortunately, all I got away with were photos of a bentwood frame bicycle, doll house furniture and a very cool umbrella stand.

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To end with, yes, it was very difficult to not see this whole biennale through Ukrainian colored lenses. Their pavilion was very difficult to experience. The contents of the first floor had been produced as the war raged in their country. Letters written every day since the first day of the invasion, with more added each day. Supersized paintings of volunteers fighting in the war as we looked at them. It was even more disturbing in person.

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I look forward to experiencing all the fun and madness that make up the Venice Biennale again in two years. I expect amazing art and at the same time having no idea what we will stumble across.

The Danish Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale

A kind and well-meaning friend stopped me outside the door or the Danish Pavilion, warning me that as someone notoriously sensitive to the suffering of our animal brethren, I might want to pass this one by.

"Wow, are they hurting animals in there?" I asked. "Well….no…but they are showing animals that look like they are being hurt ". And that, actually, I did want to look at. I personally find looking at it immeasurably easier to deal with than accepting veil of denial that such hurt is usually hidden behind.

My friend’s hurried summary statement ended up proving precisely accurate. Animals being hurt. Terribly hurt. Hurt almost beyond comprehension.  Us humans, and the other animals with whom we share this little planet.

Entering the pavilion visitors encounter a nightmarishly sad vision of our sad earthly reality. The entire pavilion has been transformed into a sordid primordial barn, with half-human-half-horse-like creatures in profound distress.

The first section to great the visitor features a man-animal hanging dead from a chain, with a large ham-like thing hanging nearby, both just meat now. In the other end of the barn is a woman-animal who has just given birth to a bizarre blue infant of undetermined viability.


Both of these beings are so realistically executed that no one in our group could say for sure that they were not live human performers. (We got much closer than personal space conventions allow, and were still not certain.)



This small family unit is surrounded by sod and bizarrely morphed farm tools. (Now, transporting large amounts of sod into the galleries happens to be a reoccurring motif in this incarnation of the biennale, and in many cases comes off just as spectacle for spectacle’s sake - Biennale Artists going big because they can.) But in this instance it creates a powerful sensory experience, and feels central to the project's core. The whole place feels like a barn of some collective human memory - evoking our subsistence past, with brutality a daily necessity and survival never assured. The suffering of human and non-human animals literally fused into one terrifying tableau. A tableau smelling strongly of manure.

This barn immediately brought to my mind a Samuel Beckett-like sensibility re our stupefying cruelty to other animals. The fact that this was definitively a contemporary nightmare was confirmed by the neon-blue fluid that either fed or sucked from the life forms even as it illuminated their offspring.

Standing inside this hellish vision I felt the veil of denial re our connections to other animals drift away like a fog lifting over the morning hills. And I was glad. Really happy and glad and rejuvenated.  Because seeing and feeling things fully is the first step forward in taking back our souls and gaining the strength to fight for a mutual future together. I left this installation stronger and more complete than when I entered it. I can think of no higher praise.

What it means to howl in Cuba

The formal mission of The Biennial Project is to “develop a body of work that will be displayed in as many biennial exhibits as possible (especially the really cool ones)”.

Our informal mission is to raise just as much hell as humanly possible.

Rarely have these two goals dovetailed as effortlessly as during our recent participation in the 00Bienal de La Habana. The 00Bienal de La Habana took place this May, and was organized by an ad hoc coalition of Cuban artists in response to the state-organized Habana Bienal being postponed from this year to 2019 in response to very difficult economic conditions on the island.

The organizing artists took great pains to make it clear that they were not anti anything. Rather they were in favor of the necessary role that art and artists must play, ever more so in challenging times.

The 00Biennial de La Habana received no institutional funding, relying instead on the organizing artists’ Herculean efforts in pulling off a multi-venue 10 day schedule of events that showcased the art of fascinating Cuban artists as well as that of many invited international artists (including us!). It tires us out just thinking about how much work this must have entailed.

One might think that the Cuban authorities would have been just proud as punch to have these fantastic young artists taking so much responsibility and putting such a positive face forward to the world.

Unfortunately that would be the case only in the Cuba we wish existed, not in the one these artists live and work in today.

So, to sum up, we risked investigation by the U.S. State Department to travel to another country to participate in an art event that was denounced and harassed by that country’s government. We guess artists are seen as a threat just about everywhere.

And what a great fucking trip it was! Incredible! How we got so lucky to be part of it we are still not sure. Our best guess is that somewhere in our youth or childhood, we must have done something good. In any event, it was amazing. No way can we do justice to it in one post (more to come – we promise!), but here follows the CliffsNotes version.

SO many artists put themselves out there to make this happen – with the two lead organizers being just goddamned paragons of artistic and human wonderfulness – (yes of course we did Artist Trading Cards on the participating artists – again, more on that later) - Yanelys and Luis – you are really tooooo extraordinary!



The exhibitions and presentations – in artists’ homes, studios, the beach – were electric and suffused with the heady energy of direct artist to artist exchange and support. Artists just doing it, instead of waiting for the powers that be to it for them. (Not a bad idea wherever you live, we thinks.) So much fun. So much food for thought. So many new connections with artists that we are thrilled to now know about and be able to follow. A thrilling model for what a biennial exhibit can look like.


And because it was us, hanging out in a gorgeous country with intrepid (and photogenic!) co-conspirators (including our new BFF Nonardo Perea – more on him later of course), there were a few pictures.






We promise to write more, but in the meantime here are some links to other articles about this remarkable event:

Hyperallergic - The Importance of Havana’s First Alternative Biennial for the Cuban Art Scene

Artforum - Cuba Detains Artists, Threatens Participants of First Alternative Havana Biennial

Artnet - Cuba Abruptly Turns Away Artists as ‘Dozens of Agents’ Prowl Havana’s Alternative Biennial




The Biennial Project