Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
1 June–24 November 2013
Vernissage: 29 May–31 May 2013
Simryn Gill’s latest exhibition project, Here art grows on trees, will be presented in the Australian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Curated by Catherine de Zegher, the exhibition is conceived as a site-specific project featuring significant new work by Gill that is made in her customary way—in the places she lives, and through her many long-standing relationships with makers, assistants, interlocutors and galleries.
Through their formal presence and the manner of their creation, these works offer a view into our inhabitation of local circumstances in a world that is becoming smaller and flatter.
“Here art grows on trees presents Gill’s works on paper, being of vegetation, as a cog in the whole system of turning wheels, as a link in the chain, in the string of gems that the world is offering—a cyclic instead of linear worldview,” says de Zegher.
Gill’s processes include methodical collections gleaned from the detritus of daily life, photographing her surroundings, drawing and writing—all thoughtful interventions that instil meaning into ordinary actions and everyday objects.
A new publication will also be launched at the exhibition, featuring extensive colour plates and commissioned essays by Catherine de Zegher, Carol Armstrong, Michael Taussig, Brian Massumi, Kajri Jain, Lilian Chee and Ross Gibson.
The Australian Pavilion is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, and led by the Australian Commissioner, Simon Mordant AM, a driving force in contemporary art projects both locally and internationally.
About the artist
Simryn Gill was born in Singapore, and lives and works in Sydney and Port Dickson, Malaysia. Gill has had major solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Tate Modern, London; and The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Her works have been included in numerous group exhibitions including Documenta 12 (2007) and dOCUMENTA 13 (2012) in Kassel, Germany. Gill is represented by BREENSPACE, Sydney; Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai; and Tracy Williams Ltd, New York.
About the curator
Catherine de Zegher is the Curator for the forthcoming 5th Moscow Biennale (2013). She was previously co-Artistic Director of the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012, and Guest Curator in the Department of Drawing at MoMA. Prior to this, de Zegher held various positions in Europe and North America, notably as the Executive Director of the Drawing Center in New York and the Belgian Commissioner for the 47th Venice Biennale.
About the Commissioner
Simon Mordant AM is Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Greenhill & Co., Inc., a leading global independent corporate advisory firm, and a committed and passionate supporter of the arts. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia and also sits on the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), the Sydney Theatre Company, the Leadership Council for the New Museum, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tate International Council and a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
About the Australia Council
As the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body, the Australia Council has managed and funded Australia’s participation in the Venice Biennale since 1978. The Australia Council is committed to building opportunities for the international presentation and collection of Australian contemporary art, and representation at the Biennale is an important part of this strategy. Australia’s participation in the Venice Biennale has contributed to the professional development of many artists and has opened up significant presentation opportunities internationally.
About the Australian Pavilion
The Australian Pavilion is positioned within the Biennale Gardens (Giardini della Biennale). The pavilion is one of 29 within the Giardini, all built at different periods by various countries. The Australian Pavilion was designed by renowned Australian architect Philip Cox and opened in 1988.
Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale began in 1954 with an exhibition of Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale and William Dobell’s iconic works, followed by visual arts luminaries such as Arthur Boyd, Rosalie Gascoigne and Albert Tucker. Other previous Australian representatives include Imants Tillers (1986), Judy Watson, Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1997), Howard Arkley (1999), Patricia Piccinini (2003), Ricky Swallow (2005), Susan Norrie, Daniel Von Sturmer and Callum Morton (2007), Shaun Gladwell (2009) and Hany Armanious (2011).
Australia and New Zealand
Cameron Woods, Australia Council for the Arts: T +61 2 9215 9030 / c.woods [at] australiacouncil.gov.au
John Diviney, Brunswick Arts: T: +971 (4) 446 6270 / jdiviney [at] brunswickgroup.com