June 3, 2009 - Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - 53rd Venice Biennale
June 3, 2009

53rd Venice Biennale

Shaun Gladwell
Approach to Mundi Mundi
production still
videography: Gotaro Uematsu
photography: Josh Raymond
courtesy the artist & Anna Schwartz Gallery

Australia opens its doors at the 53rd Venice Biennale

The Australian exhibit at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, will be officially launched today at the Australian Pavilion in Venice’s Giardini della Biennale.

Shaun Gladwell will present his captivating MADDESTMAXIMVS at the Pavilion. The work is a compelling suite of five thematically interrelated videos with sculptural and photographic elements, influenced by outback Australian landscapes and the iconic Mad Max movies.

Shaun’s exciting works blend contemporary urban culture and personal history through video, painting, sculpture and performance. He was one of three Australian artists selected to participate in the Think with the Senses Feel with the Mind exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2007. His works have been shown in major national and international exhibitions, including the Sao Paulo, Busan, Taipei and Sydney biennales and Yokohama triennale. He has undertaken residencies and commissions in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and was awarded an Australia Council fellowship in 2006.

Also representing Australia at the Venice Biennale 2009 will be four early career artists in the Once Removed exhibition which will also be launched later in the afternoon at the Ludoteca in the Castello district of Venice.

Curated by Felicity Fenner, Once Removed will feature a series of installations brought together by themes of Aboriginality, environment and displacement. The works presented are Indigenous artist Vernon Ah Kee’s Cant Chant (Wegrewhere), Australian-based Japanese artist Ken Yonetani’s Sweet Barrier Reef, and Life Span by collaborators Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro.

Thousands of international arts curators and critics are expected to flood the Australian Pavillion and the Ludoteca during the Vernissage (preview period) from 4 June to 7 June Artists and organisers have worked around the clock to finalise preparations for the arrival of an expected 30,000 curators, collectors, gallery directors, artists and media from around the world. The Biennale runs from 7 June to 22 November 2009.

Doug Hall AM, commissioner for the Australian delegation at the Venice Biennale, said that congratulated the artists on creating an incredible showcase to represent Australia.

‘Our deepest congratulations go to Shaun and his team as well as Felicity and the Once Removed artists on presenting such challenging, diverse and compelling works that we are confident will invoke a strong positive response from international audiences,’ he said.

‘The new face of Australian contemporary art will without a doubt make a big impression this year,’ said Mr Hall.

The Australia Council for the Arts has managed and funded Australia’s representation for more than 30 years. Past Australian representatives have included Sir Sydney Nolan (1954), Imants Tillers (1986), Arthur Boyd (1988), Judy Watson, Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1997), Howard Arkley (1999), Patricia Piccinini (2003), Ricky Swallow (2005), Susan Norrie, Daniel Von Sturmer and Callum Morton (2007).

An official media launch will be held on Thursday 4 June 2009 at 10am at the Australian Pavilion, during the Vernissage professional preview.

The official launch of the Once Removed exhibition will be held at the Ludoteca on 4 June from 5pm – 6pm. A performance to coincide with Ken Yonetani’s Sweet Barrier Reef installation will occur twice a day during the Vernissage – at 11am and 5pm

For additional press information, contact Lydia Grossman, Goldmann Public Relations +49 30 259 357 14 or email lgrossmann [​at​] goldmannpr.de


Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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