April 15-16, 2017
"THE WAY THE FUTURE USED TO BE"
Friday, April 14 through Sunday, April 16 marked the secret launch of Year One of the Bombay Beach Biennale (following April 2016’s Year Zero) in the quirky town of Bombay Beach, CA located at the largest man-made disaster in the country, the dying Salton Sea. Through an infusion of art, music, and philosophy, awareness is brought to the plight of this derelict yet inspiring place through its transformation into an art movement unlike anything else in the world. Over 100 artists, performers, and speakers were invited to dialogue and explore all interpretations of the concept and process of the year one theme: The Way the Future Used To Be. The experience was totally collaborative and free, being led and self-funded by participants and artists along with founders Stefan Ashkenazy, Lily Johnson-White, and Tao Ruspoli.
Friday’s happenings: the grand re-opening of the Hermitage Museum featuring the second exhibition of artist-in-residence Greg Haberny, along with his friends Bill Saylor and Nick Farhi, Kenny Scharf’s “Bombay BOOM,” Randy Polumbo’s Bombay Beach Intergalactic Space Station, a rogue, candlelit purge performance piece by a talcum-powder clad Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, a curated film-fest at the Bombay Beach Drive-In theatre featuring classic car shells replete with engine fires, DJ Jeremy Sole.
Saturday’s happenings: beachfront oyster and champagne experience at the Bombay Beach Beach Club, ballet performance at the Bombay Beach Opera House conceived by artist James Ostrer, who was brought in to design the stage for an inaugural performance by ABT/San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Maria Kochetkova and partner Joseph Walsh, and whose “Snuffling For Love Truffles” video and CurrentSee photography exhibit adorned the Nigerian flip-flop bricked interior walls, philosophy and architecture talks by Oxford professor Mark Wrathall, author Christopher Ryan, Andrew Kovacs and Jimenez Lai, the unveiling of Jen DeNike’s “Antient” installation, a Lynchian concert by Daughn Gibson at the town’s dive bar, The Ski Inn, International Art Pavilions, DJs Sabo and Goldcap.
Sunday’s happenings: talk by Sex at Dawn author Christopher Ryan, a historical examination of the Salton Sea by professor Kim Stringfellow. Other art installations were on view all weekend from contributors including Yassi Mazandi, Marco Walker, Sandy White, and Gary Oldman.
All performances, food, and drinks were free of charge and local vendors and artists were supported and showcased alongside more internationally known names. Several of the installations are permanent gifts to the town, with local docents offering year round tours of the Opera House, Drive-In, and Hermitage Museum.
Year One attractions included (but are not limited to):
-The Bombay Beach Drive In-
Already a permanent fixture, we are adding more smashed vehicles to our town-run arthouse outdoor movie theater.
-The Hermitage Museum-
With a soft-opening in Year Zero, the dilapidated house-cum-museum boasted an inaugural exhibit by the NY based artist Greg Haberny; Greg will be back in Year 1 with a new exhibit and an official ribbon-cutting.
-The Bombay Beach Opera House-
Artist James Ostrer is transforming the façade of an abandoned house we purchased into a permanent indoor/outdoor stage where Principle Ballerina Maria Kotchetkova of the San Francisco Ballet is set to perform.
-The Bombay Beach Intergalactic Space Station-
A functioning control tower to be erected at the beach front, this Year 1 addition is being designed and constructed by mad scientist and Artist Randy Polumbo using recycled, repurposed, and green elements.
-Lectures in Ruins-
Philosophy, architecture, literature, futurology and nudism are the subjects of lectures and presentations in abandoned buildings and the current ruins of BB. All this will be live performances and none of the presentations will be podcast or recorded.
-International Art Pavilions-
Bombay Beach becomes a mirror of the International Art Culture, linking it with similar art festivals and institutions through out the world. The special emphasis will be on the art of developing, dismantled and outlawed states of our world. The sites for the pavilions are spread throughout BB and its sizes and appearances range from small projects to larger interventions in situ.
-The Bombay Beach Particle Accelerator-
Bombay Beach is at the cutting edge of particle physics.
-The Way the Future was Built-
Scale models of the recently unearthed urban plans, found in one of the abandoned houses of Bombay Beach, will be placed on a dedicated site of the BB. The speculative designs encompass high rises, recreation and mixed use buildings of touchable scale allowing to mingle with real buildings. By Mark Mack / Supra Studio, IDEAS, AUD UCLA
-Silver & Light-
Giant camera obscura with the world’s largest wet plates. By artist Ian Ruhter
-Bombay BOOM! Toyz 'R Us-
Sad discarded toys made from ancient dinosaur juice (petroleum) live on encrusting a forgotten abode in the former resort called Bombay Beach. Now from the ashes of recycled toys and garbage these cosmic barnacles highlight our gluttonous over consumption of plastic, but also revive this playland with a new aesthetic for the post apocalyptic sensibility. Inside this psychedelic beach house local bunnies roam and procreate, feeding off of and fertilizing the cosmic wildlife room. By Kenny Scharf.
- Banned Book Library -
Inside an abandoned truck trailer artist Sandy White has created a reading room filled with all of the books that have been censored in the United States. Anyone can come and flip through the pages of books that have been banned, confiscated or edited throughout US history. So sit back, relax and pick up a banned book, you may be pleasantly shocked. The library sheds light on how government, education and religion attempt to shape and condition our cultural identities. By artist Sandy White
- Antient -
A new video and art installation by Jen DeNike will premiere April 14 -16, 2017 at Bombay Beach Biennale. Antient investigates the transcendental power and memory of a place via the undulating history of the Salton Sea as a specific site for DeNike's fantasy narrative video. Real and imagined nefarious environmental devastation and elements configure with time as a small gang of girls and women living in Bombay Beach navigate the entropy of an imperiled landscape, water is scarce, the well is poisoned, the apocalypse has come and gone, but the moon is rising as they gather at the edge of the Salton Sea to conjure a Narwhal.
Some call them shape shifters.......sorceress. Remnants of a future past, they are the Antient.
- The Tea Tree -
The "Tea Tree" recently renowned for harboring the Chainlink Gallery. Displayed were the works of artists Paige Freeman and Gedvile Bunikyte. White Rabbit High Tea served tea and treats all afternoon on Saturday and Sunday at the "Salton Tea" for artists and locals alike. Featuring delightful chocolate covered strawberries and cake pops in fabulous blues and pinks and wonderfully whimsical Alice in Wonderland hand painted shortbread cookies provided by Bombay Beach local culinary artists Karla Jimenez and Rachell Valenzuela. From ages 6 to 99, community members of Bombay Beach, Artists, performers, and helpers and moms from all over the world were welcomed to the delightful affair. The adjacent croquet game went on for hours in the afternoons under the shade of some very beautiful trees planted by Bombay Beach resident Ernie back in 1967, he claims they must have found some water "down there" and that's what keeps them thriving. Preforming Shibari from one of these magnificent trees Artists June St. Paul and Jessie Oh brought onlookers to tears with their two stunning performances. The first during tea on Saturday and the second at 4:44 pm on Sunday as a closing ritual that helped sum up the experience over the entirety of the weekend. A black and white once tame, now wild, rabbit watched and stayed close throughout the weekend to all of the festivities under the Tea Tree.
Art Installations & International Pavilions
Jen DeNike: Antient
Kenny Scharf : Bombay BOOM
Sandy White: Banned Book Bibliotheque
Mark Mack: The Way The Future Was Built, International Pavilions
Yassi Mazandi: Shaman’s Prayer Flags
Randy Polumbo: Intergalactic Space Station
Stefan Ashkenazy: Bombay Beach Drive In
Sean Dale Taylor: Bombay Beach Drive In
Greg Haberny: Hermitage Museum
James Ostrer: Bombay Beach Opera House
Dave Day: Kintsugi Center / Organic Farm
David Corcoran: Bombay Beach Particle Accelerator, Bombay Beach Metro Station
Tao Ruspoli: Bombay Beach Particle Accelerator, Bombay Beach Metro Station
Alexander Rose: Tempus Mortem
Ian Ruther: Silver & Light / Carnival of Dreams
Lauren Dance: Carnival of Dreams
Gary Oldman: Carnival of Dreams
Moral Turgeman: Haus der Sine
Jessica Eriksen: White Rabbit High Tea
Brandy Eve Allen
Nicole Kelly: Feminist House
Phoebe Unterman: Feminist House
Cheryl Scott: Chainlink Gallery
John Brinton Hogan: Boat Wrapping
Jennifer Anne Bennet: Zen Garden
Jennifer Hoffman: Tea Tree Crew
Cara Mickleson: Tea Tree Crew
Christopher Ashe: Beach Club, Pu$$y House
Pablo Ostrer: Opera House
Chris Jahnke: Sound Installation on Water
Maria Kreyn: Oil Painting “Even Here” II
Mary & Karim Moutry: Ca$h Out Film
Gerald Casale: Pavilion of Banned Countries
Cecilia Minucci: Pavilion of The Vatican / San Marino, Italia
Carl Berg: Pavilion of Indonesia, Pavilion of The Netherlands
Svetlana Kizilowa: Pavilion of USSR
Peter Chun Ya Yau: Pavilion of USSR
Eliza Boghossian: Pavilion of Armenia
Loveleen Brar Garcia: Pavilion of India
Manojna Acharya: Pavilion of India
Bezel Balan: Pavilion of Guamethiopia
Samora Deng: Pavilion of Guamethiopia
Anna Meloyan: Pavilion of India
Anna Meloyan: Pavilion of The Universe
Mark Mack: Pavilion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Furkan Our Karaduman: Pavilion of Turkey
Andrew McNair: Pavilion of Easter Island
Loveleen Brar Garcha: Floating Dead Fish
Mark Mack: Floating Dead Fish
Cristina de Middel: Zambia Pavilion
Alexandra Sand: Romania Pavilion
Bureau Spectacular: Pavilion of Taiwan
Steve Lee: Teaching Assistant & All Around Help
Candyce Bailey: Design / Trinidad Pavilion
Yasmina Kahn: Morocco Pavilion
Attaway: Barbados Pavilion
Richelle Rich: Great Britain Pavilion
Adam Manley: USSR Pavilion / Sealand Pavilion
Nana Ghana: Ghanian Pavilion
Tanya Argules: Mexican Pavilion
Faith Anne Young: Nepal Pavilion
Michael Greenhouse: German Pavilion
Jamie Grace Davis: Sweden Pavilion
Chris Jahncke: Mercury Pavilion
Gabriela Garcia: Puerto Rico Pavilion
Tracy Chung: DMZ Pavilion
Maria Kochetkova: Ballet Performance
Joseph Walsh: Ballet Performance
June St. Paul: Shibari Rope Tying
Jessie Oh: Shibari Rope Tying
Rachel Hallet-Ralston: Ritual Foot Washing
Bonnie Van Dyke: Violinist at Opera House
The Future Which Never Was: The City of Bombay Beach
Chun Yu Yau
Loveleen Brar Garcha
Marie Moorbergen / Base Designs
Photographers & Documentarians:
Local Advisory Board:
Steve at the Ski Inn