The BRIC Biennial is intriguing, mismatched and unsure of itself. Luckily much of the art is good. Jean Shin‘s chains dangling in the center of the student union-style pit are unabashedly pretty. Eleanor Ray’s Hopperish studies are outstanding, but I couldn’t tell if I loved them for their sombre beauty or their understated presence among so much loud art. No one from the upper caste of art stars were involved, but notables like Nina Katchadourian and Dread Scott showed engaging work. Wendy Richmond’s video triptych Rock Work, 2013 was a bright spot, showing rock cairns on a Maine beach being kicked over in rapid succession. The pace and setting made it instantly likeable; the act of demolishing the small structures triggered some by some regressive impulse from childhood. Niv Rozenberg renders seemingly endless pattern by photographing massive buildings, often with little in the way of reference points. These images feel ripe for the mainstream gallery circuit. Sherazade Garcia screenprints waves over the covers of the Village Voice, enough to create a barricade almost 4 feet tall and 20 feet long. The lingering effect is that of the wheat pasted walls of Brooklyn brought inside, allowed to flutter in the breeze of so much commotion.
All in all, there are 27 artists here and well over half left a real impression with me. Those odds exceed most art fairs, group shows and biennials I attend. BRIC earns it’s honorary title as a first time biennial. Hopefully this type of hyperlocal event can remain true to the form and the Whitney won’t be the only Biennial venue to gripe about.
– Jeff Bergman September 2014