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downloadDownload: 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial poster website

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Press Resources

Media Contact: Margaret Cox,

2011 Pittsburgh Biennial Curator: Astria Suparak,

For high-resolution images, click on the images on this page.

docPress release Aug. 8, 2011:
Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Opens New Section of Pittsburgh Biennial

docPress release Dec. 7, 2010:
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Announces Expanded 2011 Biennial with Warhol, Carnegie Museum of Art and CMU’s Miller Gallery

docJan. 2012 E-News: Opening Friday, Jan. 20 >Intimate Science exhibit + New Art/Science Affinities book launch

docOct. 2011 E-News: New Art/Science Affinities book +Pittsburgh Biennial events

docSept. 2011 E-News: 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial

Artists Brochures

docJustseeds: Handout

docSarah Ross, Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel: Global Cities, Model Worlds brochure

docTemporary Services: Self-Reliance Library booklet

docTransformazium: Make Your Own Gold coloring book; Deconstruction (Green Demolition) pamphlet

docsubRosa: Feminist Matter(s) map + Refugia Manifesto; Letter to a Feminist Scientist. Send replies to


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Top A&E stories of 2011," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jan. 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Artful Bounty: Revealing and relevant exhibitions deliver strong messages in 2011," Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 28, 2011

Pittsburgh City Paper: "Best Super-Friends Imitation on the Art Scene: The Pittsburgh Biennial, multiple venues ," "Best of 2011: Culture and Nightlife," Pittsburgh City Paper, Dec. 2011

Hyperallergic: "The Pittsburgh Biennial at Miller Gallery is a visually and conceptually stunning exhibition that reinvigorates awareness of the problems that afflict the world today. Through its redefinitions of place and space and trespassing of disciplinary boundaries into economics and science, the biennial contributes to the larger conversation going on within the major currents of contemporary art as defined by [Terry] Smith: global connectivity, environmental issues and the effects of media. Part of the strength of this collection of works is its demonstration that art can not only visualize the problems we face on a global scale but can also inspire political participation and even further the critical dialogue about the role of art itself.  Perhaps the artists’ commitment to collaboration, to working with others and negotiating their personal visions, is what makes this group so attentive to the infinite forms of interdependency that defines twenty-first century life—from gender and public/private domains, ecological sustainability, urban planning, the cultural commons and the political imagination." - Leila Nadir, "Globalization, the Environment and the Effects of Media," Hyperallergic, Dec. 3, 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Making A Point: Well thought-out installations that synthesize complex subjects... The exhibition, which opened Sept. 16, has become even more timely seen within the context of the Occupy Wall Street movement and its advocacy for cultural examination and social change." - Mary Thomas,"Activist art in Pittsburgh Biennial segment at CMU covers complex subjects," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 2011

Pittsburgh City Paper: "But in this multi-lensed vision of Pittsburgh's art scene [the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial], perhaps no facet has been as ambitious as the Miller show, curated by gallery director Astria Suparak. Comprised of work by five teams of artists, the show focuses on groups approaching social issues, community life and transformation through art-initiated criticism," -Justin Hopper, "Transformations: The Miller Gallery lends the Pittsburgh Biennial a collaborative edge," Pittsburgh City Paper, Nov. 2011 

Pittsburgh Quarterly: "If the Biennial achieves and sustains the momentum it needs, it will, biennially, be the envy of many cities in America... Astria Suparak, curator and director of the Miller Gallery, has advanced in the Biennial's web site a clear agenda... Notably, the university sponsorship of socially engaged art has had the effect of drawing new artists and collectives to the city and its satellites, some of which will be represented. This is a markedly different from the survey form of Biennial. Suparak's selection may give us some evidence of the phenomenon of artist flight from metropolitan centers, as much for financial reasons as academic or social. Two collectives have moved here, one to Braddock, one to Lawrenceville." - Graham Shearing, "A New Pittsburgh Biennial," Pittsburgh Quarterly, Fall 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Let's talk about art: What's an artist cooperative?," - Anna Venishnick for PF/PCA, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 2011

The Piper: "Expanding the Idea of Art, Q&A: Astria Suparak Brings National Attention to Miller Gallery," - Heidi Opdyke, The Piper, Sep. 2011

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The remaining works on view are just as complex, combining the talents of several artists in unique and interesting ways that provoke the visitor into engaging with the work rather than simply explaining the subjects they have tackled. But this makes for a fun and multi-layered exhibit that visitors will definitely want to make time
for." - Kurt Shaw, "'Biennial' shifts to CMU with large-scale installations," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Sep. 2011

The Tartan: "Inspiring examples of the transforming power of collaborative art, and the results are worth the trip," - Alina Narvaez, "Citywide Pittsburgh Biennial comes to campus Miller Gallery joins Carnegie museums, Pittsburgh Filmmakers in showcasing local artists," The Tartan, Sep. 2011

The Tartan: "Insightful and entertaining, the presentation did a fabulous job of analyzing the massive socioeconomic footprint created by the confluence of such vastly diverse cultures," - Vijay Jayaram "Artists discuss impact of global 'mega-events' Mega-events generate long-lasting societal changes, dramatically alter local communities," The Tartan, Sep. 2011

The Tartan: "Meishi Street documents Chinese displacement Documentary captures frustration of citizens whose homes are being demolished by government" - Kechun(Coco) Mao" The Tartan, Sep. 2011

Pop City Media: "The work of contemporary artist collectives and female pioneers is taking center stage as the second wave of the Pittsburgh Biennial opens at two significant cultural venues the city this weekend." - "Pgh Biennial continues at Miller Gallery & The Warhol," Pop City, Sep. 2011 "Pittsburgh Biennial: Bigger than ever," - Seth Rosenberg,, Sept. 2011

CMU Homepage Stories: "Rising National Profile: The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University opens a new section of the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial," Creativity in the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University Homepage Stories, Sept. 2011

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Massive '2011 Pittsburgh Biennial' showcases works of artists with connection to region," - Kurt Shaw, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 2011

Pittsburgh Magazine: "Pittsburgh Biennial," - Mike May, Pittsburgh Magazine, June 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial has stirred a lot of speculation and buzz since it announced last year that it would spread into five venues and combine the judgment and insight of four of the city's most innovative young curators." - Mary Thomas, "The 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial contains an unusual show of top local artists" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 2011

Pop City: "The show's unprecedented collaborative approach--which brings together four of the city's top arts institutions in Pittsburgh, is designed to showcase some of the most thought provoking and compelling work being created throughout the region today.

Pairing young emerging contemporary art curators from each organization, the ambitious show finds the venues breaking with tradition and creating a new collaborative model for the presentation of contemporary artworks. The powerhouse curatorial team includes Eric Shiner, Milton Fine curator of art at The Warhol; Dan Byers, associate curator of contemporary art at Carnegie Museum of Art; Astria Suparak, curator/director of The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon; and Adam Welch, curator of Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts." - Jennifer Baron, "Pittsburgh Biennial Opens Around Town," Pop City, Pop Filter Hot Pick, June 2011

Carnegie Magazine: "The upcoming Pittsburgh Biennial offers a new precedent of collaboration among the city's major art institutions, all in the name of showcasing Pittsburgh-nurtured talent," - Cristina Rouvalis, "Pittsburgh Bred," Carnegie Magazine, June 2011

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The first Pittsburgh Biennial to span four major city arts institutions and five venues since the exhibition was initiated in 1994" - Mary Thomas, "Expanded Pittsburgh Biennial plans exhibits in 5 sites," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2011

WDUQ News Blog: "60+ Artists in 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial," - Mark Nootbaar, WDUQ News Blog, May 2011






Past Exhibition



aGlobal Cities, Model Worlds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial, Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross, and Ryan Griffis, 2011
aFeminist Matter(s): Propositions and Undoings (installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), subRosa, 2011
Detail from Justseeds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial, 2011
aDetail from Tranformazium installation in Pittsburgh Biennial, 2011
a Self-Reliance Library with Personal Plastic, from Temporary Services installation in Pittsburgh Biennial, 2011
aAmerica (sketch from Justseeds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), Josh MacPhee, 2011
dA Billionaire Stole Your Job (detail from Justseeds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), Jesse Purcell, 2011
Olympic Stadiums: Tokyo 1964/Munich 1972 (detail from Global Cities, Model Worlds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross, and Ryan Griffis, 2011
sOlympic Stadiums: Montreal 1976/Sydney 2000 (detail from Global Cities, Model Worlds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross, and Ryan Griffis, 2011
sHousing is a Right (detail from Global Cities, Model Worlds installation in Pittsburgh Biennial), Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross, and Ryan Griffis, 2011, courtesy of the artists
Credit all photos: Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University



2011 Pittsburgh Biennial

Co-organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PF/PCA), and The Andy Warhol Museum.

Sept. 16 - Dec. 11, 2011 at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
Artists: Justseeds, Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross, and Ryan Griffis, subRosa, Temporary Services, Transformazium
Organizer: Astria Suparak, Director, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University

About the exhibition

Setting a new precedent for city-wide collaboration among major art institutions, the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial is co-organized by Carnegie Museum of Art, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Biennial founders Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Each of the five partner institutions will present a distinct exhibition of work by artists connected to the Pittsburgh region, reflecting each organization’s curatorial focus.

The Miller Gallery at CMU’s presentation, organized by gallery director Astria Suparak, features artists who work collaboratively, harmonizing individual perspectives, ideas, and talents. Embodying self-sufficiency within a cooperative spirit, the collectives and collaborators encourage us to reassess our assumptions and values, reveal the global in the local and the personal in the political, and imagine alternate realities and possible futures. The exhibition unveils four new installations and two recent projects, and includes sculpture, printmaking, painting, video, publications and workshops.

Sarah Ross and Ryan Griffis of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon alumna Lize Mogel of New York debut Global Cities, Model Worlds, an installation that explores the spatial and social impacts of “mega events,” such as the Olympics and World’s Fairs. The host cities of these international spectacles seek to transform themselves into “global cities” through planning, architecture, and ideology. Locally, these events pave the way for redevelopment projects that can create new public resources such as parks, stadiums, or transportation infrastructure, but often result in significant displacement of residents or industry, reinforcing existing inequalities. This installation asks us to consider what would happen if a mega event came to Pittsburgh. Using evidence from dozens of site visits and more than a decade of research, Global Cities contrasts the promise of transformation with the on-the-ground realities of urban development.

Transformazium, comprised of Ruthie Stringer, Dana Bishop-Root, Leslie Stem, and Caledonia Curry, create an evolving installation with bricks from a condemned building they deconstructed near their home in North Braddock, an outer borough of Pittsburgh. During the course of the exhibition, collective members and gallery visitors will clean the bricks, visibly transforming waste to useable resources and underlining the economic viability and environmental sustainability of deconstruction, or “green demolition.” In neighborhoods that face high levels of property abandonment as well as persistent under-employment, deconstruction “makes room for the possibility to discover wealth in places of blight and energy in places of stagnation.” Transformazium’s relationship-based practice examines systems of values, with a mission to use the creative process to transform ideas into tangible social and economic benefits.

Justseeds is a worker-owned cooperative of 26 printmakers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with members and a distribution center in Pittsburgh. For the Biennial they built a landscape overpopulated by billboards. The artists simultaneously subvert the hard-to-ignore, omnipresent advertising medium and playfully concede their didactic tendencies; instead of peddling products, the handmade billboards advocate for borderless nations, indigenous sovereignty, and immigrant rights. Justseeds believes in “the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action.”

subRosa, a collective whose core members are Hyla Willis of Pittsburgh and Faith Wilding of Providence, speculate on how feminism could affect the scientific world, as it has with art and other areas of culture. In their new installation Feminist Matter(s): Propositions and Undoings, they invoke cultural producers, experimenters, and processes that could be antecedents of this new way of thinking and working, including 4th century scientist and inventor Hypatia; Romantic poet William Blake; modernist writer Virginia Woolf; interior designers the Omega Workshop; para-surrealist painter and anarchist Remedios Varo; and groundbreaking geneticist Barbara McClintock. Inspired by Woolf’s antidote to the war-mentality brewed in boardrooms and command centers, subRosa re-envisions lab workbenches as a series of small tables for more intimate and conversational “tea-table thinking.”

Temporary Services, composed of Carnegie Mellon alumnus Marc Fischer in Chicago, Salem Collo-Julin in Philadelphia, and Brett Bloom in Copenhagen, present two projects. Self-Reliance Library is a collection of recently published and out-of-print books and reference materials that the artists have found inspiring and hope will “provoke the reader, solve creative problems, or suggest imaginative directions for a range of creative practices.” Topics represented in the library include visionary architecture, nomadic living, self-publishing, everyday repair solutions, designs for alternate realities, survivalism, and skill-sharing. Personal Plastic is an ongoing project that explores the problem of plastic bags in our waste stream. Made from recycled bags, the banners feature quotes drawn from books in the accompanying library.

The artists in the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Miller Gallery at CMU choose to work with others, negotiating their individuality for the sake of the group or project. This collaborative approach echoes the long labor and union histories of the area, as well as the Biennial’s new partnership among local art organizations. This multigenerational selection of artists, who currently live in Pittsburgh or spent significant time here, also exhibit internationally, reflecting the connection Pittsburgh has to the global art world and broader discourses. The projects included here demonstrate the strength of collective voices in deciding the future of neighborhoods, cities, nations, and societies, and the importance of intimate conversations and compassionate listening.

The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street on the North Shore.
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Warhol is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
The Carnegie Museum of Art

4400 Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the 16th century to the present.
The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue in Oakland (in the Purnell Center for the Arts).
The Miller Gallery is Carnegie Mellon University's contemporary art gallery, founded in 2000 by Regina Gouger Miller, artist, educator, businesswoman, and arts patron. The Miller Gallery produces exhibitions, projects, events and publications, with a focus on social issues.
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
6300 Fifth Avenue in Shadyside.
Founded in 1945, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is a non-profit community arts campus that offers arts education programs and contemporary art exhibitions, providing services and resources for individual artists throughout Western Pennsylvania. The Center is where the community can create, see, support, and learn about visual arts.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers

477 Melwood Avenue in Oakland.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers is one of the largest and oldest independent media arts centers in the country. Founded in 1971 to provide media-making tools to artists, Pittsburgh Filmmakers serves everyone from emerging artists to established artists to fellow non-profit organizations and students.

Support for the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial is provided by Hillman Foundation, Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Kreider Printing. General operating support for the Miller Gallery is provided by Carnegie Mellon University. The exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the CMU College of Fine Arts and the School of Art.

Global Cities, Model Worlds
was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and created during an Art and Technology Residency at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry in partnership with the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University for the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial. Support for the residency was provided by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Exhibition and events are free and open to the public.

Sept. 15, Thurs.

@ Margaret Morrison Hall #203, 2nd floor, CMU: At Margaret Morrison and Tech Streets, South of Forbes Ave. and next to the tennis courts. Presented by the CMU School of Architecture in connection with the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Miller Gallery.
Global Cities, Model Worlds Talk by R. Griffis, S. Ross and L. Mogel
Events like the Olympic Games and World's Fairs are undoubtedly spectacles on a massive scale. World's Fairs construct cities within cities, giving visitors the opportunity to see the most up-to-date wonders of the world in one space. The Olympics broadcast the world's most accomplished athletes into hundreds of millions of homes. Each event leaves footprints visible from satellites and makes its mark on national budgets. This lecture will tell the story of common patterns and characteristics these mega-event share, creating similar effects on the people and places that host them. What do cities like Seoul, Atlanta, New Orleans, Shanghai and London have in common? How does the promise of media spectacle reckon with development on the ground?
5:30pm: Screening of Meishi Street (Ou Ning & Cao Fei, 85 min.) - Now available at the CMU Hunt Library, thanks to the School of Architecture.
In order to widen traffic routes for the Olympic Games, the Beijing Municipal Government orders the demolition of entire neighborhoods. Several evictees of Meishi Street, located next to Tiananmen Square, fight through endless red tape and the indifference of fellow citizens for the right to keep their homes. Given video cameras by the filmmakers, they shoot exclusive footage of the eviction process, adding vivid intimacy to their story.

Filmed by a Beijing resident and edited by the artist team of Ou Ning and Cao Fei, Meishi Street documents the demolition of Dazhalan, one of Beijing’s oldest and most famous historic neighborhoods, and offers a dramatic firsthand account of the local residents’ struggle to keep their homes. The film traces conflicts caused by the imbalances between development and preservation, modernization and tradition, and governmental decrees and individual rights that resulted from Beijing’s unprecedented urbanization process during the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Sept. 16, Fri.
5pm: Exhibition Tour with Curator and Artists. Meet on 1st floor of gallery.
6-8pm: Collective Reception

Oct. 2, Sun.
11am-1pm: Brunch Discussion with the Biennial Curators.
Learn first hand from the curators who set a new precedent of collaboration in Pittsburgh’s art community.
@ Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 6300 Fifth Ave

Oct. 16, Sun.
Deconstruction Site Tour + Workshop with Transformazium
Meet at Jones and Hawkins in North Braddock, PA. (By car: 16 min. drive from CMU. By bus: #61A)
* We request that you email to RSVP.
Tour the building Transformazium has deconstructed and see materials extracted. While cleaning bricks and de-nailing wood with the group, join a discussion about the possibilities for these materials and your relationship with the architecture of our neighborhoods.

Nov 11, Fri.
1:30-5:30pm: Towards a Feminist Science and Art: An interdisciplinary dialogue with artists, scientists, students, and scholars
, organized by subRosa
@ Miller Gallery, 3rd floor, CMU
* We request that you email to RSVP

Nov. 16, Wed.
5pm: From Waste to Reuse: Dialogue + Brick Cleaning Workshop 
with Transformazium
@ Miller Gallery, 2nd floor, CMU.
Together with Transformazium, reassign value to used bricks by cleaning them and claiming them as resource. Questions considered will include: What resources do we place value on in our neighborhood, and how is this value created? What histories, what present realities and what future visions are told by the architecture in our neighborhood?

For more Pittsburgh Biennial events, check the website.