Ah, Venice: The fishy reek of the canals, endless popping bottles of prosecco, whimsically multi-colored suits, and ever-present threat of soupy, airborne loads of pigeon shit. The Brothers Brant are photographed here with German street art dealer Hanz Verguenza, heir to the Schoffer microwave oven fortune, and (in red), British poet Blaine Poule, author of the independently published chapbook, My Crotch Is A V, Your Eye Is An O. (Sample stanza: “The cream on your / Exquisite Prada handbag is / not from any latte, dear. / Let me be the / turgid barista of your / fleshy Hermitage.”) Behind the quartet, actress Milla Ivanovich—famous for her roles in the video game-based films Pussy Centipede Death Fest 1, 2, 3, and 4—takes part in an endurance performance entitled “Chick In A Box: (Re)imagining (Con)sumerism,” situated on the lip of the Grand Canal. For the piece, which was sponsored by Swarovski and Ketel One, Ivanovich spent three days in a glass box being gradually buried beneath the weight of consumer packaging while subsisting solely on a diet of Beluga caviar. “It’s about the pressures of desire and this constant slobbering want, want, want,” explained Ivanovich, later wearing an eye patch after a corneal injury sustained from a flying Manolo Blahnik box.
Peter II chartered a private jet-powered gondola to reach the National Pavilions, accompanied by celebrity curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and Marina Abramovic’s publicist, Klaus Biesenbach. He wore a skintight cotton top from Pal Zileri’s Fey Wetsuit collection and a barbershop quartet hat whose permanently jaunty tilt was achieved using water-based epoxy resin and Gorilla Glue. Obrist entertained the group with a story about how he once made $125,000 in 24 hours by delivering the same 10-minute lecture on “globo-tech future-functionality” in Zurich, Istanbul, Moscow, and Sydney.
The Brants were especially fond of the installation in the Chinese Pavilion by the duo Wang Wang Dance, above, who presented several super-sleek sculptures depicting famous political leaders augmented with massive cartoon breasts. “I like that I can check my complexion in the areola,” Harry said. “It’s a very Koonsian effect.” One sculpture featuring Mao Zedong released rice milk from its nipples every forty-five minutes. “Art should always be this direct and powerful,” Peter II surmised. “I can’t stand that conceptual Marshall Douche Amp shit [sic].”
Another Brant favorite was found in the Argentinean Pavilion, with a mixed-media exhibition from Pablo Cerca Cielo, who works primarily with shaved bunny fur, chandeliers, and crushed cans that once held Goya-brand pinto beans. “Joseph Beuys had felt and fat,” Cerca Cielo said. “I have my own materials, equally spiritual.” The installation, entitled “Nunca Olvidas // Chupa Mi Conejito” explores the legacy of the war in the Falklands. Cerca Cielo had planned to include a massive effigy of Margaret Thatcher composed of fur that had been urinated on by drunken campesinos, but the piece was detained in customs.
“I think it’s about the stock market,” Peter II said, discussing the massive and controversial sculpture by American firebrand Dustin Piccoliti, included in the “Encyclopedic Palace” exhibition. “I could picture this in the garden, maybe with that pudgy devil guy smushed up against the south wall of the compound.” Piccoliti himself earned a fair share of column inches at a Campari-sponsored cocktail event later in the week, erecting a D.I.Y. booth where the artist offered amateur prostate exams in an edition of 50.
Not everyone was feeling the Venetian love. “I keep getting ditched by my own fucking kids,” Patriarch Peter I said, pictured above looking lost and forlorn on the lawn of the Swedish Embassy, the venue for “this fucking C-list party full of a bunch of nobodies,” he said. “I explicitly asked the boys to CC me on all party RSVPS, but are they fucking capable of doing that? They are fucking not.” He itemized the soirees that he had already missed—including a Luigi Bormioli event featuring nude aerial burlesque, and a Cristal reception for Sarah Tze with a Yoko Ono DJ set. “You know what I did last night? I went back to my room at the Aman Canal Grande at, like, 8 pm, and spent the night struggling, unsuccessfully, to avoid succumbing to a torrid Italian softcore movie that featured a one-legged gondolier and a buck-toothed whore. And then I surfed the BFA site to see what the fuck I had missed out there in the world.”