Launches programs

Launches programs

Biennale of Sydney

May 12, 2010

Launches one of the most ambitious
programs in its 37-year history

12 May – 1 August 2010

David Elliott, Artistic Director, has unveiled one of the most ambitious exhibitions ever staged by the Biennale of Sydney, presented free to the public from 12 May until 1 August 2010 at seven venues across Sydney.

Based on the curatorial premise of THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, the exhibition presents more than 440 works by 166 artists and collaborators from 36 countries, making it the largest exhibition ever staged by the Biennale of Sydney in its 37-year history.

Seventy (70) artists will premiere new works made specifically for the Biennale of Sydney, with 22 of these being created by Australian artists. In the largest Australian representation than ever before, 65 local artists present works alongside their international peers.

Describing the exhibition as beautiful, challenging and memorable, Elliott has said: ‘The 17th Biennale of Sydney aims to present diverse cultures on the equal playing field of contemporary art, where no culture can assume superiority over any other. This exhibition has been designed with Sydney’s position as an iconic modern city in mind.

THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE contains contemporary art of many origins, looking towards the future, but inevitably formed by different experiences of the past. It asks the question: How much have things really changed in our world of transformation? How does this art reflect the actual world?’

The 17th Biennale of Sydney is presented at seven venues across Sydney, taking in high-profile museum and gallery spaces as well as non-traditional art environments. Visitors will be able to experience artworks at Cockatoo Island, Pier 2/3, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Grand Court).

Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Thanks to The Balnaves Foundation and Etihad Airways, we will again be offering a free ferry service for visitors to travel to Cockatoo Island, where they will see more art than ever before on the island.’

Located in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island has by turns been a convict prison and ship dockyard. It is a major venue for the 17th Biennale of Sydney, featuring 120 artworks by 55 artists – many creating new works with the unique space in mind.

The Museum of Contemporary Art continues its relationship with the Biennale of Sydney as a major venue partner and in 2010 has given over its galleries to the exhibition. There are 286 works by 93 artists presented over four floors at the MCA.

In addition to presenting works in the exhibition, Artspace will be home to SuperDeluxe@Artspace, an experimental performance space hosted every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening for the duration of the Biennale. SuperDeluxe@Artspace is the first time that Tokyo’s thriving performance space – a combined art gallery, bar and performance venue – has been presented in Australia. A hub for experimental music, culture and ideas throughout the Biennale, SuperDeluxe@Artspace will be presenting a mix of Japanese, international and local performers. Full details of the program can be viewed at

The 17th Biennale of Sydney is dedicated to the life and continuing influence of Nick Waterlow OAM (1941–2009), with the inaugural Nick Waterlow Memorial Lecture presented by Lawrence Weschler during the Opening Week Forum.

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Biennale of Sydney
May 12, 2010

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