Time Out Sydney

Every two years the Biennale of Sydney takes over the city's major art institutions and Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, creating a wonderland of art curated by a different person/team per edition.

The 20th Biennale is curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, who comes from Munich's Haus der Kunst, via a post at London’s Hayward Gallery (who were behind the fabulously successful Light Show that toured to the MCA in 2015).

Rosenthal assembled an advisory group of 13 international curators, writers and theorists to help shape the Biennale with her – from the lineup of artists and works to the thematic strands, and the public programs before and during the festival. This advisory group includes curators from Tokyo's Mori Art Museum, New York's Guggenheim Museum, the as-yet-unopened Fondation Galeries Lafayette (Paris), the South London Gallery, Brisbane's QAGOMA, and London's ultra-hip Carroll/Fletcher.

Five things to know about the 20th Biennale of Sydney

  1. There will be lots of performance. Rosenthal’s speciality is movement and performance-based art, and her Biennale includes choreographic giant William Forsythe (whose Quintett was performed by Sydney Dance Company in March 2015), Boris Charmatz, and expat young Australian choreographer Adam Linder.

  2. The art will spread inner-west. More than a third of artworks to be presented at venues in the inner-west, and Rosenthal will activate art in two new venues in the area: the former train stop ‘Mortuary Station’, on Regent Street; and the Newtown Cemetery.

  3. The Biennale title is taken from the William Gibson quote “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.” The theme, at its simplest, is understanding the ‘now’. Rosenthal says, “If each era posits its own view of reality, what is ours? One of the key ideas this Biennale explores is how the common distinction between the virtual and the physical has become ever more elusive.”

  4. The art will be arranged in ‘embassies of thought’: Cockatoo Island (Embassy of the Real); Art Gallery of New South Wales (Embassy of Spirits); Carriageworks (Embassy of Disappearance); Artspace (Embassy of Non-Participation); Museum of Contemporary Art (Embassy of Translation); a bookshop (Embassy of Stanislaw Lem); and the Mortuary Station (Embassy of Transition).

  5. Of the 73 artists/collectives presenting work, there are 12 from Australia: Justene Williams, Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Richard Bell, Daniel Boyd, Adam Linder, Lauren Brincat, Jamie North, Mike Parr, Brown Council (Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley, Diana Smith), Agatha Gothe-Snape, Archie Moore, and Keg de Souza.

Full artist list for the 20th Biennale of Sydney

Cockatoo Island: Embassy of the Real
Michele Abeles  Born 1977, United States
Korakrit Arunanondchai  Born 1986, Thailand / United States
Samuel Beckett  Born 1906, Died 1989, Ireland / France
boychild  Based in the United States
Lee Bul  Born 1964, South Korea
Boris Charmatz  Born 1973, France
Cevdet Erek  Born 1974, Turkey
Cécile B. Evans Born 1983, United States / Germany / United Kingdom
William Forsythe  Born 1949, United States / Germany
Nilbar Güreş Born 1977, Turkey / Austria
Camille Henrot Born 1978, France / United States
Bharti Kher Born 1969, United Kingdom / India
Emma McNally Born 1969, United Kingdom
Maaike Schoorel Born 1973, The Netherlands
Chiharu Shiota Born 1972, Japan / Germany
Justene Williams Born 1970, Australia
Ming Wong  Born 1971, Singapore / Germany
Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company)  Born 1977, China

Artspace: Embassy of Non-Participation
Karen Mirza Born 1967, United Kingdom; and
Brad Butler Born 1973, United Kingdom

Art Gallery of New South Wales: Embassy of Spirits
Johanna Calle Born 1965, Colombia
Sheila Hicks Born 1934, United States / France
Mella Jaarsma Born 1960, The Netherlands / Indonesia
Jumana Manna Born 1987, United States / Germany / Palestine
Dane Mitchell Born 1976, New Zealand
Sudarshan Shetty Born 1961, India
Taro Shinoda Born 1964, Japan
Rodel Tapaya Born 1980, Philippines
Yin-ju Chen Born 1977, Taiwan
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu Born 1964, Australia 

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Embassy of Translation
Nina Beier Born 1975, Denmark / Germany
Richard Bell Born 1953, Australia
Daniel Boyd Born 1982, Australia
Noa Eshkol Born 1924, Died 2007, Israel
Adam Linder Born 1983, Australia / Germany / United States
Kazimir Malevich Born 1878, Died 1935, Russia
Helen Marten Born 1985, United Kingdom
Shahryar Nashat Born 1975, Switzerland / Germany / United States
Dayanita Singh Born 1961, India

Carriageworks: Embassy of Disappearance
Lauren Brincat Born 1980, Australia
Chen Chieh-jen Born 1960, Taiwan
Neha Choksi Born 1973, United States / India
Yannick Dauby Born 1974, France / Taiwan; and
Wan-Shuen Tsai Born 1978, Taiwan
FX Harsono Born 1949, Indonesia
Lee Mingwei Born 1964, Taiwan / United States
Charles Lim Born 1973, Singapore
Minouk Lim Born 1968, South Korea
Gerald Machona Born 1986, Zimbabwe / South Africa
Yuta Nakamura Born 1983, Japan
Otobong Nkanga Born 1974, Nigeria / France / Belgium
Jamie North Born 1971, Australia
Melik Ohanian Born 1969, France / United States
Bernardo Ortiz Born 1972, Colombia / Brazil
Mike Parr Born 1945, Australia
Miguel Ángel Rojas Born 1946, Colombia
María Isabel Rueda Born 1972, Colombia
Aura Satz Born 1974, Spain / United Kingdom
Apichatpong Weerasethakul Born 1970, Thailand
Yao Jui-chung Born 1969, Taiwan
Robert Renhui Zhao Born 1970, Singapore

Mortuary Station: Embassy of Transition
Marco Chiandetti Born 1973, United Kingdom
Charwei Tsai Born 1980, Taiwan / Vietnam

Embassy of Stanislaw Lem
Heman Chong Born 1977, Malaysia / Singapore

The ‘In-Between Projects’
Brown Council Established 2007
- Frances Barrett Born 1983, Australia
- Kate Blackmore Born 1982, Australia
- Kelly Doley Born 1984, Australia
- Diana Smith Born 1981, Australia
Joyce Campbell Born 1971, New Zealand
Mette Edvardsen Born 1970, Norway / Belgium
Agatha Gothe-Snape Born 1980, Australia
Bo Christian Larsson Born 1976, Sweden / Germany
Archie Moore Born 1970, Australia
Oscar Murillo Born 1986, Colombia / United Kingdom
Falke Pisano Born 1978, The Netherlands / Germany
Keg de Souza Born 1978, Australia

Ming Wong, 'Windows On The World (Part 1)', 2014, mixed media installation with video. Courtesy of Para Site and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong. Photograph- Glenn Eugen Ellingsen.

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By Dee Jefferson   |  

Biennale of Sydney details

Sydney, Sydney 2000

Price FREE
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Date 18 Mar-05 Jun

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