Five things to know about the Biennale
Artistic director Stephanie Rosenthal might have an intimidating high art pedigree that includes two decades of curation at Munich’s Haus der Kunst and London’s Hayward Gallery, but one of the defining aspects of her Biennale of Sydney is her desire to bring art out of the rarefied world of galleries and museums and into the everyday. In the process, she’s gone so far as to rename Sydney’s biggest art institutions. Under her curatorship, the Museum of Contemporary Art is dubbed the ‘Embassy of Translation’; the Art Gallery of NSW is ‘Embassy of Spirits’.
“The themes came about through me travelling, meeting artists and realising that they are these clusters of urgency – things that artists care about currently.”At Cockatoo Island ('Embassy of the Real'), you'll discover artists who are interested in science fiction. In the huge Turbine Hall, Korean artist Lee Bul will be creating a utopian cityscape within the cathedral-sized space, concocting a possible future from the dreams and aspirations of humanity.
Rosenthal’s speciality is movement and performance-based art, and her Biennale includes choreographic giant William Forsythe (whose Quintett was performed by Sydney Dance Company in March 2015), Boris Charmatz, and expat young Australian choreographer Adam Linder.
More than a third of artworks is to be presented at venues in the inner-west, and Rosenthal will activate art in two new venues in the area: the former train stop ‘Mortuary Station’, on Regent Street; and the Newtown Cemetery.
Justene Williams, Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Richard Bell, Daniel Boyd, Adam Linder, Lauren Brincat, Jamie North, Mike Parr, Brown Council (Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley, Diana Smith), Agatha Gothe-Snape, Archie Moore, Keg de Souza, Erub Arts and Ken Thaiday Snr.