Aleksandra Mir

Postcards From Europe

By Alex Gartenfeld, New York, June 2009

Making Worlds
7 June – 22 November 2009
Internazionale d'Arte - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice

If there's one thing we know about Interview's Christopher Bollen, it's that he loves—loves!—flamingos. He's also quite fond of artist Aleksandra Mir, whose contribution to the 53rd Venice Biennale, Venezia (all places contain all others) was 1,000,000 postcards featuring generic imagery culled from stock photo provider Getty Images. The cards' massive, meaningless quantity makes the perfect snapshot of an international art-cation. You had the option of buying stamps and sending the postcards to your best friends worldwide, but we pocketed the postcard—they're editions, after all. Then we thought the flamingos would go perfect bundled with this postcard from the Athens Biennial, by Danish artist collective Superflex. Their postcards address another sort of saturated imagery with a more specific origin: images of Greek riots, ominous smoke clowds, and streets full of bombed out cards. Are they staged? Are they documents of a Civil War you watched on the evening news? Who cares: send them wherever! We would have sent both of the postcards to Bollen and Interview from Europe—but the last thing we need is the feds coming after us. The lesson: Venice and Athens are two very different cities.