Newly commissioned projects by three artists - Susan Norrie, Daniel von Sturmer and Callum Morton - will highlight the diversity and depth of contemporary Australian art practice at the 2007 Venice Biennale.
John Kaldor AM
The Australia Council for the Arts today announced that Susan Norrie (NSW), Daniel von Sturmer (VIC) and Callum Morton (VIC) had been chosen to represent Australia at the 2007 Venice Biennale, from June to November next year.
Australian Commissioner John Kaldor said: 'My aim for the next Biennale is to show the richness and diversity of Australian contemporary art. Norrie, von Sturmer and Morton have each established a strong reputation as innovative artists at the forefront of our visual arts practice.'
The three artists will exhibit in three different spaces at the Biennale: von Sturmer will be in the Australian Pavilion, and Norrie and Morton will show at other venues around Venice.
'I believe that the selection of three artists represents an important extension of Australia’s presence into spaces beyond the Pavilion, engaging the international art world with the broad scope of Australian art today,' Mr Kaldor added.
Susan Norrie will present a video installation that explores pervasive geopolitical issues of a planet in turmoil. The work will be experiential, physically immersing audiences and transporting them to precautionary tales of an uncertain future. Norrie said: 'I feel an enormous responsibility to document the truths of our experiences, not just simply erase history and support a collective amnesia.'
Norrie will participate in the Busan Biennale South Korea in September 2006 and has exhibited at Art Tower Mito, Japan 2004; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin 2003; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, 1992; KIASMA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Finland 2001; Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, UK 1999; and Solomon R.Guggenheim, New York, 1984/87.
Daniel von Sturmer will continue his 'experiments with space', through video installations and architectural interventions especially designed for the Australian Pavilion. These new works will test how it is we see what we see. von Sturmer said: 'the unique spaces of the Pavilion will be brought into play in the new work, where video sequences will confound viewers’ sense of space, scale and orientation'.
Recent shows include: Centre for Non Objective Art, Belgium 2006; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand, 2005; Auckland Art Gallery, NZ, 2004; Hamburger Bahnhof, Germany, 2003; Hamburg Kunsthaus, Germany, 2003; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain, 2002
Callum Morton is known for his large-scale, architecturally inspired installations: Stonewash transformed the exterior of a ruined building in Istanbul with a pristine Levis shop-front, and Babylonia, a craggy floating island revealed a luxury-hotel corridor, an inspired fusion of James Bond, The Shining and Disneyland. Morton commented: 'the unique characteristics of both the city of Venice and the Biennale event itself will provide a rich context for my new work.'
Callum Morton won a Gold Medal representing Australia at Triennale India in 2004 and will also show at the Busan Biennale South Korea in 2006. Recent shows include: Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Poland and Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania in 2006; 2nd Istanbul Pedestrians Exhibition, Turkey, 2005; 2nd Auckland Triennial, New Zealand, 2004; Hamburger Bahnhof, Germany 2003; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Italy, 2003; and Santa Monica Museum of Art, USA 1999.
Australia Council for the Arts CEO Jennifer Bott said: 'the Australia Council is pleased to be able to commission and showcase new work by three exceptional artists, each at different stages of their careers, in this most prestigious international context.'
'The Venice Biennale is a strategic opportunity for Norrie, von Sturmer and Morton to build on their international profiles, further explore their ideas and extend the range of their work.'
There were 57 applications for Australian participation in the 2007 Venice Biennale. Norrie, von Sturmer and Morton were chosen by a panel comprising Lesley Alway, Chair, Australia Council Visual Arts Board; Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art; and Australian Commissioner John Kaldor.
Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the world's most important critical forum for contemporary visual art. The Australia Council has managed and funded Australian representation for more than 25 years. Previous Australian representatives include Judy Watson, Howard Arkley, Patricia Piccinini and Ricky Swallow.