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DEVON TSUNO & FINISHING SCHOOL MURAL PROJECT at the HAMMER MUSEUM VENICE BEACH BIENNIAL
Venice Beach Biennial (July 13 - July 15) on the Venice Beach Boardwalk
The Venice Beach Biennial (VBB), a weekend event that makes tongue-in-cheek reference to the “real” Venice Biennale in Italy, will treat the famed Venice Beach boardwalk, Ocean Front Walk, as an outdoor exhibition venue. Over the course of the weekend over 50 fine artists will set up vending stands alongside veteran boardwalk artists, exhibiting new bodies of work, collaborating with the veterans on new projects, displaying site-specific sculptures or installations, and presenting live performances. Directed by Hammer curator Ali Subotnick.
The famed Ocean Front Walk is a promenade along Venice Beach with a rich history and undeniably funky atmosphere—and it’s also an ideal, if unconventional, location for a large-scale interdisciplinary outdoor exhibition. The boardwalk is officially recognized as a “Free Speech and Expression Zone” and there is a regulated system, which aims to allow performers, entertainers, and free expressionists to exhibit and sell their own original and constitutionally protected merchandise, in over 200 spaces marked along the beach side of the boardwalk. A recent city ordinance has fine-tuned the definition of “art” and nominal works that are permitted in the vending spaces, which has brought back many artists that had previously been driven out by commercial vendors.
VBB takes artists accustomed to showing in galleries and museums out of their comfort zone, and encourages them to consider their work in a new context. The veteran boardwalk artists will play an active role in this weekend event, and all artists will be working under the same conditions and regulations. Artists may also collaborate with shop owners and restaurateurs to present site-specific projects, interventions, murals, and wall projects. This exhibition will instigate new connections and dialogue between disparate artistic communities and audiences that could potentially sustain itself and deepen over time. Projects will be presented on the boardwalk proper as well as in the Recreation and Parks area near Windward Plaza (adjacent to Muscle Beach and the Graffiti Wall).