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17th Biennale of Sydney

17th Biennale of Sydney

THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age

Festival: 12 May – 1 Aug 2010

Biennale of Sydney

43-51 Cowper Wharf Road . Woolloomooloo
NSW 2011 Sydney

+61 2-93681411


17th Biennale of Sydney
Isaac Julien
Green Screen Goddess No. 1 (Ten Thousand Waves) 2010
Endura Ultra photograph, 180 x 240 cm
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Based on the curatorial theme THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, recent and new works by Australian artists will be showcased alongside international artists at Sydney's leading cultural institutions, contemporary art spaces and heritage sites. Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney, remarks: 'In 2010, the Biennale celebrates its 37th anniversary, making it the third longest running biennale in the world. We anticipate building on our record attendance from 2008 and expect to welcome more visitors than ever before to this spectacular free event.' Audiences of all ages will be delighted, challenged and inspired by the artists and works in this Biennale. Visitors can walk from venue to venue along Sydney Harbour's edge and then take the free ferry to Cockatoo Island. Artist talks, performances, forums, film screenings, family events, guided tours and other special events will be featured throughout the 17th Biennale exhibition period. David Elliott, international curator, writer, broadcaster and museum director, explores connections between the visual arts and other art forms in 'THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE'. Artists' works will be presented alongside the work of contemporary writers, filmmakers, commentators and musicians. Some projects will be displayed at venues for the duration of the exhibition; others will be one-off events and performances. Elliott says: 'I'm very excited to be presenting the 17th Biennale of Sydney. The aim of this Biennale is to bring together work from diverse cultures, at the same time, on the equal playing field of contemporary art, where no culture can assume superiority over any other.' Elliott has constructed 'THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE' with Sydney's position as an iconic modern world city in mind and believes biennales should enter into conversation with the places where they are shown. 'This exhibition has been designed specifically for Sydney and, equally, would stand up well in any international city,' he explains. Cockatoo Island returns as a major exhibition venue in 2010, building on the success of its inaugural use for the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008). The venue will feature works by approximately 50 artists spread throughout the island's cavernous structures and open spaces. The island will feature many new site-specific works, created directly in response to the location. Elliott says: 'Cockatoo Island is historically significant as both a prison and an industrial powerhouse; it offers a variety and vastness of space, which is a fantastic challenge and privilege for artists. It is one of the unique environments of Sydney and we will be filling it with art.' ABOUT THE BIENNALE OF SYDNEY As Australia's largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts event - with 436,150 visits in 2008 - the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) will celebrate the organisation's 37th anniversary. Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided an international platform for innovative and challenging contemporary art from Australia and around the world. Every two years, the Biennale of Sydney is presented free of charge to the public over a twelve-week period. Over the past 37 years, the critically acclaimed and popular large-scale exhibitions have showcased more than 1355 artists from over 82 countries. With a tradition of innovation, the Biennale of Sydney was among the first to celebrate Australia's cultural and ethnic diversity; the first to show indigenous art in an international contemporary art context; and the first to focus on Asia and the contemporary art of our region. VENUES The Biennale of Sydney venues combine established and high-profile museums, dedicated contemporary art spaces, heritage sites and buildings, as well as outdoor city areas. In 2010, the 17th Biennale of Sydney will be situated across the heart of the city in a series of venues: Cockatoo Island, Pier 2/3, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Grand Court).

17th Biennale of Sydney
Althea Thauberger
La mort e la miseria 2008
photographic mural, dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist
17th Biennale of Sydney
Jemima Wyman
Combat Drag 2008 (production still)
video, 8:06 mins
Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane
17th Biennale of Sydney
Adel Abidin
Ping Pong 2009
HD video transferred to Blu-ray, 3:44 mins
Installation view of the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) at Cockatoo Island
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris
Photograph: Sebastian Kriete