Save for some scattered programming in Central Park, this year marks the first time the Biennial runneth over from the Whitney. The museum has co-opted the Seventh Regiment Armory (a.k.a. the Park Avenue Armory) for free programming from March 6 through 23. Don’t expect faux white-walled galleries in the expo-ready Drill Hall—more than a third of the 81 Biennial artists will activate much of the Armory’s historic interior with site-specific performances and installations.
Matthew Brannon’s The Last Page in a Very Long Novel (2008).
Tapes of creaky Armory noises inspire a film script, the only copy of which will be buried in the building forever.
1. FIELD AND STAFF BAR
Eduardo Sarabia’s Salon Aleman.
At the blue-and-white porcelain bar artists serve homemade (in Mexico) tequila. And beer. Some even make barware.
2. DRILL HALL
Kembra Pfahler/The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black’s Actressocracy (2008).
The always-evocative painted lady stages a rock-opera extravaganza/wedding.
3. DRILL HALL
Agathe Snow’s Stamina: Gloria et Patria (2008).
Snow’s 96-hour dance marathon culminates in the huge barrel-vaulted hall on March 15. Prizes to be awarded for stamina.
4. LIBRARY/SILVER ROOM
MK Guth’s Ties of Protection and Safekeeping (2007–8).
Rapunzel! Guth weaves a giant braid of artificial hair flecked with strips of flannel bearing audience-composed phrases.
5. COMMANDER’S ROOM
Dexter Sinister’s True Mirror (2008). Conceptual and traditional press briefings on Biennial happenings from the commander’s old perch—now an in-house communications HQ.
6. COLONEL’S ROOM
Bert Rodriguez’s In the Beginning… (2008).
Free therapy! Rodriguez holds daily office hours, broadcasting incomprehensible murmurs from each session throughout the space.
7. SOUTH HALL AND RECEPTION ROOM
Ellen Harvey’s 100 Biennial Visitors Immortalized (2008).
Free art! Harvey whips up fifteen-minute portraits of 100 visitors, and invites the subjects to give feedback on her work.
The Facebook Biennial
How social networks have taken over this year’s festivities.