Danish Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale

by Anna Salmeron

 

A kind and well-meaning friend stopped me outside the door or the Danish

Pavillion, 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 pavillion 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 lifeforms 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.

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.

dn

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.

More by Anna Salmeron

We wanted to share a little sample of some of the FABULOUS art continues to be submitted for this year's Biennial Project Biennial to be presented on our website and via video projection at the Venice Biennial 2022 Opening week!

ENTER YOUR WORK HERE:

Feast your eyes on a selection of this beautiful work:

Harden_Al_1_539_6___Lorraine_MotelHarden_Al_6_539_6___No_Justice_No_PeaceHarden_Al_3_539_6___Seat_at_the_Table

Lorraine Motel, No Justice No Peace, and Seat at the Table, by Al Harden

Novakov_Anna_1_2727_6___Eternal_FrostNovakov_Anna_3_2727_6___Scents_for_Forgotten_Countries

Eternal frost and Scents for Forgotten Countries, by Anna Novakov

Wold_Eileen_2_2736_6___Arctic_Pending__SurrenderWold_Eileen_3_2736_6___Arctic_Pending__Arctic_Thaw

Arctic Pending: Surrender and Arctic Pending: Arctic Thaw, by Eileen Wold

Herber_Artemis_1_156_6___Gaia_RiseHerber_Artemis_3_156_6___The_PerseidsHerber_Artemis_4_156_6___MelancholiaHerber_Artemis_5_156_6___Rape_of_Medusa

Gaia Rise, The Perseids, Melancholia and Rape of Medusa, by Artemis Herber

Brown_Marcus_2_2809_6___Adinkrahene_and_Cymbal_by_Marcus_BrownBrown_Marcus_7_2809_6___Machine_Noire

Adinkrahene and Cymbal and Machine Noire, by Marcus Brown

Keller_Matthew_2_1076_6___copresenceKeller_Matthew_1_1076_6___John_the_BaptistKeller_Matthew_3_1076_6___A_Glorified_Approach_to_Violence

John the Baptist, copresence and A Glorified Approach to Violence, by Matthew Keller

Villanueva_Maria_3_2822_6___Ofrenda_-_a_walking_projectVillanueva_Maria_1_2822_6___For_The_Forest

Ofrenda - a walking project and For The Forest, by Maria Villanueva

Brown_Wendell_2_1699_6___Memories_of_Family_and_Stories_ToldBrown_Wendell_4_1699_6___Stories_from_the_Photo_Album

Memories of Family and Stories Told and Stories from the Photo Album, by Wendell Brown

The Biennial Project 2022 Biennial Entrant Sampler by Anna Salmeron

Here it is only January, and yet so much FABULOUS art has been submitted for this year's Biennial Project Biennial to be presented on our website and via video projection at the Venice Biennial 2022 Opening week!

Feast your eyes on a selection of this beautiful work:

LLC_Jeannie_Motherwell_3_33_6___Outlier

Outlier, Jeannie Motherwell

Hood_Dee_3_760_6___Fragments_of_Knowable_Truth

Fragments of Knowable Truth, Dee Hood

Diedericks_Christiaan_1_1650_6___Preserving_pain

Preserving pain, Vortex artists Christiaan Diedericks and Shui-Lyn White

Slater_Kelly_1_1635_6___Lavendar_and_Yellow_I

Lavender and Yellow I, Kelly Slater

ENTER THE BIENNIAL PROJECT 2022 BIENNIAL

How Serious Artists Prepare for the Venice Biennale

Let be honest here.

The idea of attending the opening week of the Venice Biennale can be pretty intimidating.

There’s the art of course.

blog1

And as if that weren’t enough, along with the art come throngs and throngs of people. Good-looking, well-dressed people. Most of them are Europeans for god’s sake, with their good health care, bicycling-to-work, and months-off-hiking-in-the-mountains lifestyles.blog14

It was enough to make us want to stay home under our blankets eating Pringles.

But THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG, I TELL YOU WRONG! We were not about to rest on our considerable laurels when there was so much art to be seen and so many fabulous receptions to be attended!

blog3

We refused to let the scale (or time, or American health care) keep us from our rightful places frolicking with the well-healed and glamorous masses. No, we took control of the reigns of fabulousness, and dedicated ourselves in the weeks and months prior to our Venice pilgrimage to our task with our customary resolve.

.blog20

We got rid of the bad skin!

blog4blog5

And those rotten wrinkles!

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We committed ourselves to various scientifically proven replenishing regimes!

blog9

We adorned ourselves with the most glorious embellishments!

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We polished our pearly whites until they sparkled!

lou55blog11

We got the most perfect highlights in our hair!

 

We ironed our seductive yellow attire and painted our digits to match!

a1blog10

And in one truly impressive case one of us actually did something of substance,

blog17blog16

Losing SIXTY POUNDS in time for the trip!

The Biennial Project’s Biennial Selected Artist List by Anna Salmeron

Ghaderi_Parisa_4_1540_5___Alien_Sofa

                    Alien Sofa by Parisa Ghaderi

WOW – was jurying ever hard this time! A ridiculous amount of great work was submitted, and we could not begin to accept everything that was good. So if your work was picked, congratulations, your work is insanely great.

Lillian Abel

Kirstine Ahumada Torres Meyer

Ali Al Ezzi

Constant Albertson

Pandora Apostoloska Sazdovska

Manss Aval

David R Banta

Hinglaz Bardoloi

Deirdre Barrett

Jean-Claude Bise

Jan Brandt

Richard Buckley

Karen Burgess

Nikyra Capson

Bruno Cerboni

Yvonne Cilia

Emelie Coffey

Sandrine Colson

Chris Costan

Neil Curran

Lucy Dallorto

Francisco De la Barra

Nick Di Stefano

Susan Dietrich

Gary Duehr

Emily Dugie

Sigrid Ehemann

Barbara Eskin

Tom Estes

SARTORI FLORENCE

Faith Gabel

Parisa Ghaderi

Wally Gilbert

Bela Gold

Al Harden

Artemis Herber

Dee Hood

Rainer Otto Hummel

Clint Imboden

Yvette Kaiser Smith

Marjorie Kaye

Matthew Keller

Maegan Kirschner

Walter Kopec

Laura Krasnow

Herman Krieger

Louise Laplante

Charlie Lemay

Patrick Lichty

CHARLENE LISKA

Madeleine Lord

Steve Lovegrove

Maria Luongo

Winicjusz Lysik

Stephen Von Mason

Juliana McDonald

Azita Moradkhani

CAROL MOSES

Jeannie Motherwell

Judith Motzkin

Erica Nazzaro

Caleb Nichols

CHRISTINE PALAMIDESSI

Karen Petersen

Yvonne Petkus

Bo Petran

Sisavanh Phouthavong

Adriana Prat

R Prost

Doug Puller

Ilari Rantala

Tatjana Raum

Larry Roberts

Sherri Roberts

Ginette Rondeau

Lenora Rosenfield

Ruth Rosner

Shubho Saha

Sasho Sazdovski

Dani Schechner

Victoria Schepps

Ellen Schon

George Shaw

Julia Shepley

Melissa Shook

Marlene Siff

Rhonda Smith

Michael St-Germain

Mark Stafford

Kristin Street

Katherine Sweetman

Svetlana Swinimer

Skeffington Thomas

NANCY CHEE-KWAN TONG

Richard Trupp

Sabrina Tso

David Tycho

Paul Valadez

Milica Vergot

Isabelle Kawai Vincent

Norma Watters

Paul Weiner

Deborah Weinreb

Joyce Westrop

Coral Woodbury

X Bonnie Woods

Tami Xiang

Andre Chi Sing Yuen

 

Entry Deadline extended for the Biennial Project Biennial–with High Profile Special Jurors Announced by Anna Salmeron

Your humble servants here at Biennial Project Laboratories are hard at work on making The Biennial Project Biennial at The 2019 Venice Biennale a great big extravaganza of fantastic art from far and wide. Boy are we lucky to be able to be able to get to know so many amazing artists though this contest. We cherish being able to see and share, with you, the fascinating work that these artists create. It definitely beats obsessing 24/7 about The End Of The World As We Know It. But we digress. We have some great news. Some Kick Ass Art People have agreed to be Special Guest Jurors for our show! Each of them will pick their favorite piece from the show to receive recognition with a Special Juror’s Prize. Without further ado, The Special Guest Jurors for The Biennial Project Biennial at The 2019 Venice Biennale are:

Founder and Publisher of  New England’s highly respected and read-by-everyone ArtScope Magazine - Kaveh Mojtabai.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT KAVEH MOJTABAI

 

Carrying on a family tradition of artistic excellence and innovation - the incredible artist Jeannie Motherwell.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT JEANNIE MOTHERWELL

 

And a trio of trailblazing contemporary Cuban artists, activists and organizers of the recent 00Biennial de la Habana - Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, Yanelys Nuñez Leyva, and Nonardo Perea.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CUBAN JURORS

INTERVIEW WITH CUBAN JURORS

 

Each of these Kick Ass Art People has stupendously good taste – so we can’t wait to see which five artists they single out for special recognition.

Because these five are now on board, we have decided to extend the deadline to enter The Biennial Project Biennial at The 2019 Venice Biennale until March 15th. What are you waiting for?

 

ENTER NOW

 

BPB 2019 05 02 final

The William Forsythe Exhibition at the ICA by Emily Dugle and Mark Hoffman

by Emily Dugie and Mark Hoffman

Q: So Emily, we hear there's a cool new show at the Institute of Contemporary Art here in Beantown. Have you seen it yet?

A: The William Forsythe Exhibition? I have! It was so incredible; I've gone back to see it twice.

Q. Wow Emily - you are truly impressive! We consider it an accomplishment to get to the good shows here once - twice is setting the bar pretty high. The ICA says about this exhibit that "Forsythe has developed installations, sculptures, and films that he calls Choreographic Objects. Blurring the lines between performance, sculpture, and installation, his Choreographic Objects invite the viewer to engage with the fundamental ideas of choreography." I have to admit that while I think dance is beautiful and all, I have no idea whatsoever what the fundamental ideas of choreography might be. Can you tell us some of your impression of the show?

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A: I have never been a dancer, and my only preconception of choreography itself is a organized routine that is followed step by step. Forsythe seems to take a different view of choreography in his installation. Not something the is practiced, and memorized, but something more internal and reactionary. Natural movements of the body in response to inner and outer stimulus. It encouraged a youthful exuberance from all the attendees I witnessed and promoted an atmosphere of playfulness while, at the same time, leading the participants to think about the movement of their bodies and others. 

IMG_6675

Q: OK, I am convinced. Group playfulness is a subject in entirely too short supply in today's world and especially in the ever-so-serious art world. And being prodded to think about the movement of our bodies alone and in concert with others seems to me to get at some deep body-centeredness that we have in childhood and lose somewhere along the line. You really make me want to see this show! Could you tell us about or describe one specific interactive thing within the installation that you liked? If I promise I will stop peppering you with questions soon?

A: My favorite installation within the exhibit was one that, the first time I went, no one noticed. It was an installation that was built into the museum walls. It had the appearance of someone slicing a 2 ft high gap into the bottom of the wall with the recess going back perhaps 15-20 feet. The first time I crawled into the opening, everyone else simply continued to walk past not noticing the hidden alcove. Laying on my back and watching the feet of the patrons walk past, I was amazed that such a confined space could feel so open and unrestricted. This probably had to do with the fact that I was only inside for a handful of minutes. 

IMG_6680

The second time I went to view the installation, the hidden space was well known, and it was full of laughter and people experimenting with different ways of moving around the space. The museum attendant was pointing out different ways people had found of entering and exiting that involved sliding and rolling as opposed to crawling to spare the knees of the patrons.

It was amazing the difference the space had when I was alone vs. when it was full of twisting bodies. 

Q: Thanks so much to Emily Dugie and Mark Hoffman for this interview and photos – you have convinced us that we MUST get off this sofa and go see this show!!!

 

so that we shall not die of reality…by Anna Salmeron

“We have art so that we shall not die of reality.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Some really great art is being submitted to The Biennial Project Biennial at the 2019 Venice Biennale. It is a joy to see and a joy to be able to share it with you. Here are six artists to brighten your day…..

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Lifeboat, by Caleb Nichols, Stoughton, Massachusetts

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American Inquisition, by Al Harden, Cincinnati, Ohio

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The Juggernaut of Nought, by Richard Trupp, London, Great Britain

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Women Dancing, by Faith Gabel, Brooklyn, New York

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Reality as Memory, by Ruth Rosner, Watertown, Massachusetts

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Looking for Level Ground, by Dee Hood, Ruskin, Florida

(SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO OUR BIENNIAL HERE)

BPB 2019 05 02 final

Include The Biennial Project in the 2021 Venice Biennale by Anna Salmeron

We the undersigned entreat the Justly Venerated Authority of the Venice Biennale to acknowledge that a Grave Miscarriage of Justice has resulted from the failure of said body to include The Biennial Project in any of it's previous biennial exhibits.

This despite the demonstrable fact that the work of The Biennial Project and it's legally incorporated subsidiaries do so clearly merit inclusion in such exhibits.

We do hereby propose as remedy to this calamitous state of affairs that the Venice Biennale issue a formal invitation post haste to The Biennial Project to participate in an official and recognized capacity in the 59th Venice Biennale to be held in the city of Venice in the year 2021.

SIGN OUR PETITION HERE

Include The Biennial Project in the 2021 Venice Biennale


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