Vernon Ah Kee
George Bures Miller
The Biennale celebrates its 35th birthday with a rich line up of artists and projects. The free exhibition is expected to welcome more than 180 artists coming from Asia and the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, Africa and the Pacific. Highlights include Qiu Anxiong, Gerard Byrne, Lara Favaretto, Anawana Haloba, Pierre Huyghe, Brian Jungen, Renata Lucas, Susan Philipsz and Michael Rakowitz Rakowitz. More Australian artists are included such as Destiny Deacon, Simryn Gill, Shaun Gladwell, Rosemary Laing, Tracey Moffatt, Mike Parr and many others.
curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
Revolutions – Forms That Turn – works that spin, go in reverse, mirror, make noise and blow up! The Biennale of Sydney today announced highlights of its 2008 program, celebrating its 35th birthday with a sensational line up of artists and projects that will keep growing until opening day and beyond. From the extreme to the arresting, it hosts more Australian artists than ever before and includes the magical Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour as a major exhibition site, as well as premiering an extraordinary online venue – a first for a biennale worldwide.
The free exhibition is expected to welcome more than a quarter of a million visitors, and more than 180 artists will participate – with over fifty newly created artworks presented alongside some of the world’s most ground-breaking art from the avant-gardes of last century. Celebrating this milestone exhibition, Australia’s leading international contemporary arts festival has drawn on the expertise of renowned curator, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.
Ms Christov-Bakargiev said today: ‘I am excited to be presenting the 16th Biennale of Sydney in this anniversary year. With artists participating from around the world in the seven harbourside venues and on the internet, I hope Sydneysiders and all visitors will enjoy the experience of art across the city, and that many thousands more will log on around the world and experience Australia’s biennale online.’ Billed this year as a celebration of the defiant spirit, the exhibition will bring together some of the most revolutionary artists the world has ever known alongside the shining stars of today. The theme of the 16th Biennale, Revolutions – Forms That Turn, suggests the impulse to revolt, a desire for change, and seeing the world differently. Many works in this year’s exhibition will be participatory, encouraging people to step inside art and discover new ways of looking and thinking about life today. Movement is a strong feature – works turn, spin, go in reverse, mirror, make noise and even blow up.
Audiences of all ages will be delighted, challenged and inspired by the wide range of works in this Biennale. Renowned South African artist William Kentridge will present a new work which expands his celebrated animations. The MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art – will display Maurizio Cattelan’s famed suspended horse Novecento, while Cockatoo Island will see more than twenty artists’ projects realised. Dan Perjovschi will scribble his famous drawings on the façade of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and at Pier 2/3, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller will create a spectacular sound installation – Murder of Crows. Some of the twentieth century’s most revolutionary works are being brought to Sydney and to Australia for the first time. These create a vibrant historical context for the voices of today. They include works by renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Jean Tinguely, Atsuko Tanaka and 2007 Venice Biennale ‘Golden Lion’ winner, León Ferrari.
Artists will come from Asia and the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, Africa and the Pacific. Highlights include Qiu Anxiong, Gerard Byrne, Lara Favaretto, Anawana Haloba, Pierre Huyghe, Brian Jungen, Renata Lucas, Susan Philipsz and Michael Rakowitz. More Australian artists are included than ever before ranging from our most internationally renowned, such as Destiny Deacon, Simryn Gill, Shaun Gladwell, Rosemary Laing, Tracey Moffatt, Mike Parr, Julie Rrap and theweathergroup_U, to the rising stars of the moment, including Vernon Ah Kee, TV Moore, Raquel Ormella and Stuart Ringholt. The 2008 Biennale of Sydney is presented at some of Sydney’s finest harbourside sites and visitors can take the Biennale ArtWalk from venue to venue along the water’s edge. For the first time the exhibition will utilise the astonishing former prison and shipyard, Cockatoo Island. For the fifth time Sydney’s only remaining undeveloped historical wharf – Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay – will feature as a venue. Sydney’s leading arts institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Artspace will again be dedicated to the country’s foremost international art event. Artists’ talks, performances (including a new work by Pierre Huyghe at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall), a symposium, film screenings, and family events will keep visitors engaged, delighted and challenged throughout the festival. This edition of the Biennale also premieres a specially designed online venue. This is an experimental space that encourages discovery through artists’ projects, videos, texts, YouTube, songs and even a Second Life space, live streaming performances andlinks to existing art online. Log on, but be warned, it’s addictive! Audiences will be able to sign up to an email bulletin to receive updates on special events.
About the Biennale OF Sydney
Founded in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney is ranked today as one of the world’s leading international festivals of contemporary art. Presented free to the public every two years over a twelve-week period to international critical acclaim, the exhibitions have showcased more than 1250 artists from over 60 countries. As Australia’s largest and best attended contemporary visual arts event (316,000 visits in 2006), the festival is renowned for hosting dynamic Opening and Closing Weeks, including the spectacular opening night Artists’ Party, regarded as Australia’s premier art world celebration. 2008 Biennale of Sydney Dates
Biennale of Sydney
43-51 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 Australia Telephone: + (61) 2 93681411 Facsimile: + (61) 2 93681617
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Opens to the public on Wednesday, 18 June and continues to Sunday, 7 September.
Media Preview and Vernissage: Tuesday, 17 June.
The 2008 Biennale of Sydney is presented at some of Sydney's finest harbourside sites and visitors can take the Biennale ArtWalk from venue to venue along the water's edge. For the first time the exhibition will utilise the astonishing former prison and shipyard, Cockatoo Island. For the fifth time Sydney's only remaining undeveloped historical wharf - Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay - will feature as a venue.
Sydney's leading arts institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Artspace will again be dedicated to the country's foremost international art event. Specific events and artworks will be presented at the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House, plus in 2008, we are thrilled to present the first Online Venue for a biennale worldwide.