March 21, 2014 - Biennale of Sydney - You Imagine What You Desire
March 21, 2014

You Imagine What You Desire

Randi & Katrine, The Village, 2014. Mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Installation view of the 19th Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artists. Created for the 19th Biennale of Sydney. Photo: Tai Spruyt.

19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire
21 March–9 June 2014

19bos.com

The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, curated by Juliana Engberg and presented at inner-city and harbourside locations across Sydney, today revealed the work of more than 90 artists from 31 countries.

The Biennale of Sydney is presented free to the public from 21 March until 9 June across five venues: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Carriageworks, Artspace and World–Heritage listed former shipyard and prison, Cockatoo Island.

Artistic Director Juliana Engberg commented: ‘You Imagine What You Desire is an energy-filled biennale that presents a grand multiplicity of things. It is an exploration of the world and contemporary aesthetic experience through inventions, desires and propositions.

You Imagine What You Desire demonstrates the ways in which artists are active philosophers who seek to engage the audience and viewer in an exploration of our world through metaphor, narrative and poetry. They do this so that we might find inspiration in the sensations and intensities produced by art, and so that we might, temporarily, step aside from our commonplace experiences and feel something uncanny and unusual. Artists bring awareness to our world in transformation. They seek the possibilities of better worlds.’

Cockatoo Island, billed as a ‘fantasy location,’ shows a number of adventurous new commissions and artworks. Inside the Turbine Shop, Danish artist Eva Koch presents I AM THE RIVER (2012), an all-encompassing projection of Gljufrabui, the Icelandic waterfall. Nearby, Danish artist duo Randi & Katrine have transformed a space in the Industrial Precinct into an anthropomorphised wonderland in the style of a typical Danish village, while Australian artist Callum Morton uses the Dog-Leg Tunnel as a readymade site for The Other Side (2014)—an experiential, ghost train-inspired journey into the mysterious and spooky.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) features a major site-specific immersive video installation by renowned Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. Mercy Garden Retour Skin (2014) invites viewers to descend into a sensual pleasure world of vivid colour and light.

Also on Level 1 of the MCA, Glaswegian artist Jim Lambie has psychedelically transformed a large gallery space with a pulsating Zobop work, using wildly coloured vinyl tape, while acclaimed artist Douglas Gordon presents his large-scale installation and video work Phantom (2007) on Level 2.

Carriagework presents works that investigate the language, materials and narratives of the theatre and film worlds. Audiences encounter large-scale works by Austrian artist Mathias Poledna, Netherlands duo Broersen & Lukács and Dutch artist Gabriel Lester, whose work Where Spirits Dwell (2014) features a life-sized log cabin complete with curtains and front verandah.

Carriageworks and the Biennale of Sydney will also co-present the world premiere of a new work by British artist Tacita Dean. Presented across four nights from 1 to 4 May, Event for a Stage (2014), is a one-act theatrical presentation that is both witnessed by a live audience, and later adapted and transmitted as a work for radio.

The Art Gallery of NSW has transformed part of the Gallery into a forest, housing the work of Chinese-born, Germany-based performance artist Yingmei Duan. Visitors are invited to travel through the forest to meet and interact with Duan, who will inhabit the installation dispensing prophecies and poetic observations throughout the 12-week exhibition. Australian (Bidjara) artist Michael Cook presents a new photographic series, Majority Rule (2014), asking us to ponder the impact and effects still suffered by Australian Indigenous people, and what it may have been like had there been a friendlier, more humble and understanding approach from the invaders who colonised this country.

Artspace presents works that trigger strange encounters with time and ideological travel. Swiss-born, New York–based artist Ugo Rondinone reveals primitive (2011–12), scattering the floor of the exhibition space with 59 birds cast in bronze and drawing the viewer’s attention back to the world outside.

A 12-week education and public program is presented as part of the 19th Biennale. See 19bos.com.

For media requests or additional information, visit 19bos.com/media

 

19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire
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