May 13, 2013 - Biennale of Sydney - First artists announced
May 13, 2013

First artists announced

Mircea Cantor, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (still), 2012. Video. Courtesy Galeri Yvon Lambert, Paris; Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv and Magazzino, Rome.

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

Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, today shared an early glimpse into one of the leading international festivals of contemporary art, which will be presented from 21 March until 9 June 2014.

Engberg says: ‘You Imagine What You Desire is an evocation celebrating the artistic imagination as a spirited describing and exploration of the world through metaphor and poesis. It makes enquiries into contemporary aesthetic experience, and relates this to historical precedents and future opportunities to imagine possible worlds. It seeks to understand the need artists have today to create immersive and expanded environments, and locates this activity as part of an art historical trajectory, and as a pursuit into the issues of human consciousness, and their psychological, cognitive and corporeal imperatives.

‘It reminds us that powerful art is not divorced from the cultural conditions, political, social and climatic environments in which it is generated. That indeed it often exists to provide a meta-commentary on these aspects of society—and even, sometimes, act as an antidote and proposition. As a future vision.

You Imagine What You Desire seeks splendour and rapture in works that remain true to a greater, even sublime visuality. Today these things co-exist and overlap, and the tactics of theatricality cannot be separated from overtly social-situationist inspired works, just as they are central to works engaging with humanity at a grand scale. Extra energies are sought in works that unleash physical and psychic intensity. A happy anarchy is produced with works that activate the power of imagination through laughter and activity.’

The preview artist list, published online at, reveals the names of 18 artists already selected for the 19th Biennale: Yael Bartana, Ulla von Brandenberg, Mircea Cantor, David Claerbout, Yingmei Duan, Krisztina Erdei, Douglas Gordon, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Roni Horn, Mikhail Karikis, Laurent Montaron, Agnieszka Polska, Augustin Rebetez, Maxime Rossi, Wael Shawky, John Stezaker, Corin Sworn, and Tori Wrånes.

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney commented: ‘Juliana Engberg has a history of curating intelligent and distinctive exhibitions and programs, and we are all energised by Juliana’s curatorial vibrancy. We look forward to next year when Australia’s largest and most respected contemporary visual arts event will present artworks from around the world in some of the most beautiful venues in Sydney.’

Major venues for the 19th Biennale of Sydney include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Cockatoo Island. The full artist and venue list for the 19th Biennale of Sydney will be announced later this year.

19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire

Media preview: Tuesday 18 March 2014
Vernissage: Tuesday 18 March–Thursday 20 March 2014
Public dates: Friday 21 March–Monday 9 June 2014

Accreditation is now open for arts industry and media professionals to register their interest in attending Vernissage and opening week events. Register at

Media contacts 
Requests for interviews and further information should be directed to:

Oceania, Americas, Asia
Kym Elphinstone, Director, [art]iculate
T 61 (0) 421 106 139 / kym [​at​]

Gabrielle Wilson
T 61 (0) 433 972 915 / gabrielle [​at​]

Rhiannon Pickles
T 31 (0) 6158 21202 / rhiannon [​at​]


First artists announced for the 19th Biennale of Sydney
Biennale of Sydney
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