Borrego Sun - Since 1949

The 2018 Bombay Beach Biennale


Last updated 3/27/2018 at 9:20am

The Bombay Beach Biennale took place at the shores of the Salton Sea. This renegade gathering was a celebration of and for the locals and artists who are transforming Bombay Beach into a newly relevant year-round cultural destination.

The Biennale is an exuberant celebration of art, music, and philosophy, which leaves a lasting mark on Bombay Beach, a small town at that refuses to be forgotten or written off, even as the man-made lake it was built upon risks disappearing.

(Un)contained within the limits of the town, around 500 local residents, artists, builders, creators, and volunteers were invited to explore and stumble upon the abandoned houses and vacant lots that serve as a canvas for many artists while also attending the concerts, operas, ballets, lectures, movie screenings, and art exhibits that took place throughout the town. Many installations, such as the the Opera House, The Hermitage Museum, Drive-In Theater, The Institute, Angler Grove, The Last Resort, and Nine, have become permanent gifts to the town.

Highlights Include:

The Bombay Beach Opera House – A dilapidated house transformed into a state-of-the-art performing arts space masterminded by artist James Ostrer. On Friday night, Jesca Hoop serenaded the stage. On Saturday, performance pieces by San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Maria Kotchekova and her partner Sebastian Kloberg were followed by a Clown Opera by Kate Feld.

The Hermitage Museum Bombay Beach – Greg Haberny opened a new exhibit “Why Do I Destroy Everything I Love?” alongside works by renowned artists Camille Schefter, Thomas Linder, Jon Pylypchuk, Bill Saylor, and Theodore Boyer. The Museum is a permanent gift to the town. Tours are available upon request. Just ask Steve at the Ski Inn.

The Bombay Beach Institute of Particle Physics, Metaphysics & International Relations – Part museum/gallery, part performance space and home to a new Community Garden, The Institute showcased art installations and permanent exhibits by photographers Robert Stivers, Stefanie Schneider, and others paintings and sculptures by Damian Elwes, Bill Attaway, Wyatt Mills, performances by The Glitch Mob, Adam Freeland, Vera Sola, Blue Book and lectures on the theme of “God’s Silence” by Oxford University philosopher Mark Wrathall, Columbia University professor and activist Christia Mercer, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn) and many others.

The Ski Inn – World Infamous as the “Lowest Bar in the Western Hemisphere”, the Ski Inn served as the epicenter for folk, blues, and soul concerts from Vera Sola, Willy Mason, C.W. Stoneking, and Reverend Tall Tree.

Angler Grove - A revelatory woodland portal and psychedelic human terrarium in the bones of a dilapidated bachelor pad by artist Randy Polumbo.

The Tesseract: Possibly the world’s largest representation of a 4 dimensional hypercube by S. Shigley aka Shig. Lighting design by Jessica Steiner and Ashley Hillis.

Pythia: Pythia, the House of Snakes (named the Classical Greek Delphic Oracle's Omphalos) is a live/work/sound space that offers a quite literal window to the other-side: a site of performative creation channeled from the past, from the future and from beyond the edges of this world, curated and maintained by musician-medium Vera Sola.

“Nine” at the Bombay Beach Botanical Gardens – Artist Yassi Mazandi unveiled a new super-sized "flower vertebrae" in her "flowerbed" series of porcelain sculpture.

Toxic Tango - a work in progress by De Cock: a dance between the ongoing decay of the Salton Sea with a nod to the continuous pollution of our oceans. Both bodies of water unite with paint for this lascivious dance to attract consciousness towards our current problems. Go and witness the duet for yourself at the Bombay Beach Motel.

The Bombay Beach Drive-In - an outdoor movie theatre featuring car shells, boats, and off-road vehicles newly renovated for Year Two and gifted to the town as a year round cinema, but with curated film series during the Biennale. This year’s theme- Sea of Love: Monsters in the Water.

The Bombay Beach Estates – An art park containing multiple installations by Thomas Linder, and Camille Schefter, featuring around-the-world sounds from Zee Avi, Jeremy Sole, The Toledo Show, and Café Bosna.

The Last Resort – The forthcoming "hotel de ville" of Bombay Beach. Artist Greg Haberny created a prototype room, Suite 406, at the Petit Ermitage Hotel. It will soon be reconstructed as the first room of the Last Resort.

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