10 June, 2007

Biennale of Sydney 2008

16th Biennale of Sydney


18 June – 7 September 2008
Artistic Director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Presentation at Venice Biennale: Friday, 8 June 2007, 7.00–7.30pm at the Teatro Piccolo near the entrance to the Arsenale – in collaboration with Yokohama Triennale and Shanghai Biennale


The Biennale of Sydney has showcased contemporary art from Australia and around the world since 1973 and is one of the largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts events. The 2008 Biennale will be held at venues and sites throughout Sydney, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

‘The impulse to revolt. Revolving, rotating, mirroring, repeating, reversing, turning upside down or inside out, changing perspectives. I imagine the 16th Biennale of Sydney as a constellation of historical and contemporary works of art that celebrate and explore these dynamics, both in art and life. Through installations, performances, films, texts, an evolving online venue, conversations and other events, Revolutions – Forms That Turn articulates the agency embedded in forms that express our desire for change. Such literal and formal devices are charted for their broader aesthetic, psychological, radical and political perspectives. Piero Manzoni’s Socle du Monde (Base of the World, 1961) lies more or less on the opposite side of the world from Sydney. What happens if we turn it upside-down?

‘The “space” explored by this exhibition is the gap between the first part of the title – revolutions – which suggests a directly political and content-based exhibition, and the subsequent phrase – forms that turn – which alternatively suggests the autonomy and isolation of the art object, spinning on its own and detached from daily life, or the energy and potential latent in forms themselves (turns that form). The first term collapses (is over-turned) into the second and within that gap perspective suddenly shifts, as when a joke is understood – causing unexpected laughter, a release of tension and a collapse into the comic dimension of radical and absolute presence. It is a space of rotation, confusion, revolt, insubordination, anarchy and disruption of order, a space of revolution.’ – Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev


France - Le Monde
Every town wants its own contemporary art biennale

"112 contemporary art biennales now exist in the world. The multiplication is exponential, testifying to the rampant globalisation of contemporary art. In June, the action is centred in Europe, with Venice, Kassel and Münster. But now the phenomenon has spread across the planet", notes Emmanuelle Lequeux. "Lyon, Berlin, Istanbul, Moscow, Sharjah, Turin, Shanghai, Havana, Sidney, Dakar, Taipei, and even Ushuaia... One loses count of the towns and cities that now host these mega exhibitions and the phenomenon appears to be expanding at a steady pace, especially in Asia... ... The stakes? They go far beyond aesthetics, becoming political, geo-strategic, and economic. If towns are so enchanted by biennales, it is because they do wonders for their image. ... Showing that a town is part of the international game is an important mission for a biennale. Like the English, contemporary art has become a universal language." (08/06/2007)

» full article (external link, French)


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