• 20th Biennale of Sydney

    Date posted: March 14, 2016 Author: jolanta
    Richard Bell, Embassy, 2013, installation view, The 5th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2013, image courtesy the artist, Milani Gallery and Moscow Biennale Art Foundation © the artist
    Richard Bell, Embassy, 2013, installation view, The 5th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2013, image courtesy the artist, Milani Gallery and Moscow Biennale Art Foundation © the artist

    83 artists from 35 countries and more than 200 works presented across nineteen locations free to the public.

    The 20th Biennale will be presented at 19 locations – including seven main sites or ‘embassies of thought’ – from 18 March and continue until 5 June, 2016.

    The last month announcement brings the total number of participating artists in Australia’s largest contemporary art event to 83, hailing from 35 countries. More than 200 individual art works spanning all mediums – with a 2 focus on performance – will be presented free of charge to the public during the Biennale’s three-month exhibition period.

    The newly announced artists are: Ricardo Basbaum; Céline Condorelli; Don’t Follow the Wind; Erub Arts; Philipp Gehmacher; Germaine Kruip; Benoît Lachambre; Chrysa Parkinson; Evan Roth; Hahn Rowe; Christoph Schlingensief; Alexis Teplin; and Ken Thaiday Snr. The Biennale artist list now includes a total of five artist collectives or artist collaborations: Brown Council; Erub Arts; Yannick Dauby and Wan-Shuen Tsai; Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, and Don’t Follow the Wind. Fourteen Australian artists will participate in the exhibition, including six Australian Indigenous artists. At the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Embassy of Spirits), Torres Strait Islands collective Erub Arts will present a new commission for the Biennale titled Solwata 2015–16. Created through a collaboration of artists, including Ellarose Savage, Florence Mabel Gutchen, Racy Oui-Pitt, Lynnette Griffiths and Marion Gaemers, Erub Arts have used the ‘ghost net’ medium to create a large, wall-based installation, drawing inspiration from Indigenous stories and cultural traditions, a shared connection to the ocean and a deep concern for the marine environment. Through their collaboration the artists transform the serious ecological hazard of drifting discarded fishing nets in our oceans into an artwork that evokes a shared vision of land, sea and culture – communicating an important statement about our combined responsibility for the welfare of the environment. The Embassy of Spirits will also display Ken Thaiday Snr’s dhari (headdresses) – or dance machines – which use both traditional and synthetic materials to create unique performance apparatuses. As ‘mobilised artefacts’, these innovative sculptural objects both document and embody the living heritage and traditions of performance in the Torres Strait Islands.

    Marco Chiandetti, 'The hand of the artist in bird seed', 2015, bird seed, 40 x 10 x 9 cm. Courtesy the artist.  © Photograph: Marco Chiandetti

    Marco Chiandetti, ‘The hand of the artist in bird seed’, 2015, bird seed, 40 x 10 x 9 cm. Courtesy the artist. © Photograph: Marco Chiandetti

    Christoph Schlingensief’s (b. 1960 d. 2010) The African Twintowers, 2005–07 will also be exhibited at the Embassy of Spirits. Schlingensief’s last cinematic work was effectively a documentary and experimental film about an unfinished film. Shot in the townships surrounding Lüderitz, Namibia, the former German African colony, Schlingensief’s original film would have told the story of a megalomaniac theatre director wanting to re-stage the events of September 11 in Africa. Curatorial collective Don’t Follow the Wind, featured at Carriageworks (Embassy of Disappearance), will present two new works for the Biennale: Information Counter, 2016 and A Walk in Fukushima 2016. Reclaimed, decontaminated and transported to Australia, Information Counter comprises physical artefacts from the Fukushima exclusion zone. A Walk in Fukushima is an immersive 360-degree video piece viewed through the headsets made in workshops with former residents of the city. Filmed in and around the uninhabited radioactive area, the video presents an intimate experience of the inaccessible zone and the power plant. At the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Embassy of Translation) French artist Céline Condorelli will present Structure for Communicating with Wind 2012–13/2016. The installation is one of a series of five sculptures-as-installations produced in 2012–13 as part of a year-long collaborative project initiated by filmmaker Beatrice Gibson and typographer Will Holder. Called The Tiger’s Mind, the project was based on the 1967 character-driven, improvisational score written by avant-garde British composer Cornelius Cardew. Dutch artist Germaine Kruip will present a one-on-one 20-minute performance work titled A Square, Spoken, 2015 at the MCA Australia (Embassy of Translation) on weekends and Cockatoo Island (Embassy of the Real) during the week. The script for this performance is drawn from historical quotes around ‘the square’ by artists, scientists and historians, including: Kazimir Malevich, Josef Albers, Carl Jung, Claes Oldenburg, Galileo Galilei, Ad Reinhardt, Lygia Pape and Chinese proverbs. In the process, A Square, Spoken re-visits and re-contextualises historical and art historical shifts in understandings of the square, as a form and concept, as well as the new meanings it has acquired over time.

    Germaine Kruip, 'A Square, Spoken', 2015, one-on-one performance, 18 mins. Courtesy the artist; The Approach, London; and Gallery Sofie van de Velde, AntwerpPhotograph: Maxime Fauconnier

    Germaine Kruip, ‘A Square, Spoken’, 2015, one-on-one performance, 18 mins. Courtesy the artist; The Approach,
    London; and Gallery Sofie van de Velde, AntwerpPhotograph: Maxime Fauconnier

    Specially commissioned for the Embassy of Spirits, ghost telephone, curated by Adrian Heathfield, is a one-month long daily chain performance comprised of new interlinked works from internationally renowned artists; Philipp Gehmacher, Benoît Lachambre, Chrysa Parkinson and Hahn Rowe. Working in situ in the Art Gallery of New South Wales the commissioned artists will channel and transform the spirits of specially chosen works currently on display at the Gallery. Each artist will spend a week in residence with a selected artwork, attuning to its resonances and mutating its immaterial affects through their creative actions and words. The residency of each artist overlaps for several days with another artist, generating new correspondences and reverberations between the artists and their work.

    Alexis Teplin’s practice explores the experience of movement and sound in painting. Known for her brightly coloured abstract paintings, her canvases often extend to form the backdrop, shape, and even costume, for her sculptures and performance works. Teplin’s work for the 20th Biennale, Arch (Politics of Fragmentation), 2016 will be presented at Cockatoo Island (Embassy of the Real). As part of The Future of Disappearance, a project curated by André Lepecki for the 20 th Biennale, Brazilian artist Ricardo Basbaum will create one of his large-scale diagrams on a billboard at 95 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills. Evan Roth will present Internet Landscapes: Sydney, 2016, a web-based project that aims to offer simultaneous experiences of the internet’s physical, digital and cultural landscape. Roth’s blending of the physical and virtual is very much in line with the 20th Biennale’s interest in new ways of folding the world ‘into’ the self, but also alludes to the slowly eroding optimistic and egalitarian values that characterised earlier incarnations of the internet. Visit 20bos.com from 18 March to view Roth’s work.

    Opens 18 March: entry to the Biennale of Sydney exhibition is free. To view more detailed information on artists presented in the 20th Biennale of Sydney please visit 20bos.com.


    1. Korakrit Arunanondchai (Thailand/USA) 2. Ricardo Basbaum (Brazil) 3. Samuel Beckett (Ireland/France) 4. Nina Beier (Denmark/Germany) 5. Richard Bell (Australia) 6. boychild (USA/Hong Kong) 7. Daniel Boyd (Australia) 8. Lauren Brincat (Australia) 9. Brown Council (Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley, Francis Barrett, Diana Smith) (Australia) 10. Lee Bul (South Korea) 11. Johanna Calle (Colombia) 12. Joyce Campbell (New Zealand) 13. Boris Charmatz (France) 14. Yin-Ju Chen (Taiwan) 15. Chen Chieh-jen (Taiwan) 16. Marco Chiandetti (England) 17. Neha Choksi (USA/India) 18. Heman Chong (Malaysia/Singapore) 19. Céline Condorelli (France/England) 20. Yannick Dauby (France/Taiwan) and WanShuen Tsai (Taiwan) 21. Keg de Souza (Australia) 22. Don’t Follow the Wind 23. Mette Edvardsen (Norway/Belgium) 24. Cevdet Erek (Turkey) 25. Erub Arts (Australia) 26. Noa Eshkol (Israel) 27. Cécile B. Evans (USA/Germany/England) 28. William Forsythe (United States/Germany) 29. Philipp Gehmacher (Austria) 30. Agatha Gothe-Snape (Australia) 31. Nilbar Güreş (Turkey/Austria) 32. FX Harsono (Indonesia) 33. Camille Henrot (France/USA) 34. Sheila Hicks (USA/France) 35. Mella Jaarsma (The Netherlands/Indonesia) 36. Bharti Kher (England/India) 37. Germaine Kruip (The Netherlands) 38. Benoît Lachambre (Canada) 39. Bo Christian Larsson (Sweden/Germany) 40. Lee Mingwei (Taiwan/USA) 41. Charles Lim (Singapore) 42. Minouk Lim (South Korea) 43. Adam Linder (Australia/Germany/USA) 44. Gerald Machona (Zimbabwe/South Africa) 45. Kazimir Malevich (Ukraine/Russia) 46. Jumana Manna (USA/Germany) 47. Helen Marten (England) 48. Emma McNally (England) 49. Karen Mirza and Brad Butler (England/Turkey) 50. Dane Mitchell (New Zealand) 51. Archie Moore (Australia) 52. Oscar Murillo (Colombia/England) 53. Yuta Nakamura (Japan) 54. Shahryar Nashat (Switzerland/Germany/USA) 55. Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria/Belgium) 56. Jamie North (Australia) 57. Melik Ohanian (France/USA) 58. Bernardo Ortiz (Colombia/Brazil) 59. Mike Parr (Australia) 60. Chrysa Parkinson (USA/Belgium) 61. Falke Pisano (The Netherlands/Germany) 62. Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore) 63. Miguel Ángel Rojas (Colombia) 64. Evan Roth (USA/France) 65. Hahn Rowe (USA) 66. María Isabel Rueda (Colombia) 67. Aura Satz (Spain/England) 68. Christoph Schlingensief (Germany) 69. Maaike Schoorel (The Netherlands) 70. Sudarshan Shetty (India) 71. Taro Shinoda (Japan) 72. Chiharu Shiota (Japan/Germany) 73. Dayanita Singh (India) 74. Rodel Tapaya (Philippines) 75. Alexis Teplin (USA/England) 76. Ken Thaiday Snr (Australia) 77. Charwei Tsai (Taiwan/Vietnam) 78. Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand) 79. Justene Williams (Australia) 80. Ming Wong (Singapore/Germany) 81. Xu Zhen (Produced by Madeln Company) (China) 82. Yao Jui-chung + Lost Society Document (Taiwan) 83. Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (Australia)

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