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Australia's Biggest Art Exhibition Transforms Sydney for Winter
aiPotu (Andreas Siqueland / Anders Kjellesvik), Iceberg, 1-3 August 2005, Public social sculpture, Sørfinnset, Norway, Dimensions Variable. Photo: © aiPotu 2005


SYDNEY.- A horse suspended from the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art, a bronze-cast tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Art Gallery of NSW covered in chalk drawings, large-scale video installations on Cockatoo Island: these are just some of the projects to see and experience in the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

The exhibition opens today in seven venues clustered around the harbourside plus a world-first online venue. The city’s leading galleries and spectacular outdoor sites host the visions and voices of more than 180 of the world’s most exciting artists, all for free. From the quirky to the comic to the controversial, the exhibition establishes that Sydney in 2008 is the place to discover contemporary art.

Under the theme Revolutions – Forms That Turn, the exhibition explores the urge to rebel. The unique vision of artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has materialised as art works have been installed over the past week, transforming the city under her watchful eye into a truly remarkable place. She says: “I think art can be experienced by everybody – whether they are someone who reads about and sees a lot of art regularly, or someone who works hard all week and simply wants to see an art show on a Sunday afternoon. The Biennale of Sydney is for everyone!”

Cockatoo Island is teeming with 35 works of art including an underground tunnel that rocks to the beat of psychedelic music, a lone voice singing ‘The Internationale’ in an abandoned industrial space, and a shadow play in the old air raid shelter. There’s a sculptural model based on Sydney’s Olympic Stadium, and Shaun Gladwell’s new piece based on mountain bikes and inspired by Duchamp’s famous Bicycle Wheel (on show at the Art Gallery of NSW).

With the generous assistance of The Balnaves Foundation and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust - a free ferry shuttle service will operate to Cockatoo Island between 9.45 AM and 16.45 AM, seven days a week. Biennale visitors can take the free ferry from Commissioners Steps (outside the MCA) around to Wharf 2 at Pier 2/3 and on to the island.

At the MCA see a horse suspended from the ceiling, a field of 1000 tiny snakes sculpted from rice husks, and Alexander Calder’s magnificent mobiles Hanging Spider and Roxbury Flurry. A rock band of over-eighty year olds plays the Sex Pistols’ version of ‘God Save the Queen’ and transforms a gallery space into a band drop-in centre. Australia’s international art star Tracey Moffatt presents the world premiere of her new film REVOLUTION. And mother and son Mary Kelly and Kellie Barry present works including their first into which Kellie was literally born making him a living art work!

The Art Gallery of NSW features chalk drawings across the outside of the building, and just opposite is a gleaming, full-size tree cast entirely in bronze. Inside is an extraordinary Tatlin Tower constructed from rubble of The Block and in collaboration with the Redfern community. Sit in a chair and have a chat with artist Ross Gibson as he analyses the art of conversation, or let it all out in an Anger Workshop with Stuart Ringholt.

Pier 2/3 plays host to the extraordinary The Murder of Crows – a massive sound-based installation made up of 100 individually programmed soundtracks on 100 speakers and a lone megaphone through which the artist speaks. Bringing an extraordinary, rich symphonic sound into the old pier, the work is a requiem to a pre-9/11 world in music, dreams and voices. This is the biggest piece ever made by internationally acclaimed Canadian duo Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, and one of the major new works commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney.

For true spectacle, see the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House transformed for 24 hours, into a magical forest on 9 and 10 July. While in The Studio, Dora García presents her ‘re-imagining’ of the notorious Lenny Bruce comedy performance of the 1960s. And don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see legendary New York performance artist Joan Jonas at the Cell Block Theatre, National Art School on 22 June.

At Artspace come on a journey to Utopia or witness our collective behaviours captured on film by UK art star Jeremy Deller in his new project for the Biennale of Sydney, I’m with this Idiot.

Combining key works of the past century with the best in contemporary art today, the Biennale of Sydney celebrates 35 years as Sydney’s trail-blazing showcase of contemporary art. With more than 180 artists and 65 new works, it is truly a world of art, here, now.

The 2008 Biennale of Sydney opens Wednesday, 18 June and runs until Sunday, 7 September.





Today's News

June 19, 2008

Olafur Eliasson's The Nature of Things Opens at The Joan Miro Foundation in Spain

Famous Faces of European Collection Showcased in Installation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A Garland of Melodies: Ragamala Paintings at The Norton Simon Museum

Australia's Biggest Art Exhibition Transforms Sydney for Winter

Color as Field: American Painting, 1950-1975 Opens at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Kori Newkirk: 1997-2007 on View at The Pasadena Museum of California Art

Miniature Worlds: Art from India at The Palmer Museum of Art

Timothy J. Clark: A Retrospective at The Butler Institute of American Art

Tuff Stuff: Four New Mexico Artists with Muscle Exhibit at New Mexico Museum of Art

Late at Tate Liverpool: Art, Freedom and Oppositionality

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